The Rolla tennis team made the trip up to Jeff City for their season opener on Tuesday, Aug. 22. The Lady Bulldogs knew they had their hands full and had a few close games, but ended up being shutout by the Lady Jays 9-0.
The two closest matches of the night came at number one and number six singles. Rachel Butz played at number one, facing off against Erica Dunn. At one point, the match was neck and neck with Dunn leading 4-3, but the Lady Jay finished strong to take the last four wins to take the match 8-3. Kathleen Beetner represented Rolla at number six against Quinterra Lewis and played a strong match of her own. The match was tied at five late in the match, but Lewis won the final three games to claim the win 8-5. Rolla did not win a point in the other four singles matches.
Doubles wasn't any easier than singles for the Lady Bulldogs. Butz paired up with Laura McCutcheon at number one doubles, falling to Dunn and Susan Meyer 8-2. The other two doubles matches were 8-1 wins by Jeff City.
The JV managed to take a few matches from Jeff City, but lost 4-3. Wins all came in doubles where Molly Hardwick/Sheri Chan won 6-0, Eliana Stanislawski/Kayla Decker won 6-4 and Shay Pelfrey/Shannon Chan won 6-3.
While it was a tough road test for their first game, head coach Joe Schisler saw it as a learning experience out of the gate.
"Our goal for this match was just to get started competing and try to elevate our play and get our feet under us," said Schisler. "Hopefully we worked out some kinks and some nervous jitters."
Rolla's road doesn't get any easier this week, as they continue their stretch of away games to kick off their season. The Lady Bulldogs faced off against Hickman on Wednesday, Aug. 23, but results were not available at press time. Next up will be a trip to Richland on Thursday, Aug. 31. Schisler thinks this road warrior start of the season will be a good test for what will come as the season continues.
"We have Columbia Hickman and then Richland which should be two more trying road matches to start the season," said coach Schisler. "Any team that can thrive with those three road matches to start would have to be a district contender, and that is one of the long range goals we always look at."