The Rolla tennis team traveled to Waynesville to face off against Lebanon in the District Semi-Final on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Rolla was able to pull off the upset over the tournament's second seed 5-2 to advance to the District Championship.
This was the third matchup between Rolla and Lebanon this season, with each team taking a win. The night started with some great matchups in doubles. The Lady Bulldogs won number one doubles, as Rachel Butz and Laura McCutcheon took down Hannah Lowery and Zephanie White 8-4. Lebanon responded by winning at number two doubles. Oliva Burken and Rylee Kriete put up a strong fight, but fell to Addison Meyer and Megan Adams 3-8. The final doubles match was down to the wire. Kathleen Beetner and Shannon Chan were pushed to a tiebreak by Skyler Maynor and Ashton Arthur. The tiebreak was also a nail-biter, but Beetner and Chan pulled out a 9-7 victory to take the game 9-8.
Rolla then got off to a phenomenal start in singles to take the match. The first singles match to end was Burken falling to Meyer 1-6, 0-6 to tie the match, but it was all Rolla after that. Beetner beat Arthur 6-2, 6-1 at number six to give the lead back to the Lady Bulldogs. Butz then won at number one singles 6-1, 6-4 to put Rolla on the edge of victory. McCutcheon sealed the victory with a hard-fought win over White. Both sets were pushed to the brink, but McCutcheon took the first set 6-4, before winning the second set 7-5 to win the game and seal the victory for the Lady Bulldogs.
"This was really a great team coming up with an amazing effort to solidly upset a team we had split with in the regular season. Every single girl really went out put it all on the line for the win," said Rolla head coach Joe Schisler. "At the conference tournament we kind of felt like we might have come up with one more win to clinch the match and finish third. So we didn’t want to leave feeling that way again.
"Kathleen Beetner and Shannan Chan trailed by several games late and trailed early in the tie breaker as well, but persevered to take number three doubles," continued Schisler. "Butz and McCutcheon also had a close match at one Doubles. They lead 5-4 before taking the last 3 games. In singles Butz and Beetner cruised to straight set wins. McCutcheon played a great player in Zephanie White. Laura adjusted her game plan and just stayed stronger mentally tonight. That wrapped up the win with numbers four and five still playing due to the split sets."
The win set Rolla in to the District Championship against Jeff City on Wednesday, Sept. 27, but results were not available at press time. The Lady Bulldogs will next play in individual Districts on Saturday, Sept. 30.