The Rolla tennis team took part in individual Districts in Waynesville on Saturday, Sept. 30. The Lady Bulldogs had one player, Rachel Butz, advance out of the District, but played a strong day of tennis as a team.
Butz was the top seeded singles player in the District and was absolutely dominant all day long. After a first round bye thanks to her top seed, she cruised to an easy 6-0, 6-0 win over Camdenton's Hannah Robinson. She then faced off against Jeff City's Akhi Donthriedy, winning the match 6-4, 6-1. The championship pitted her against Smith-Cotton's Elizabeth Matz, where she again won in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to win the District Championship.
"We are all obviously thrilled that Rachel won the district championship and celebrate that together. She is a great teammate and leader," said head coach Joe Schisler. "For her to win all the way through the championship without losing a set says a lot about her abilities and focus."
Laura McCutcheon also competed in singles for the Lady Bulldogs. She beat Lebanon's Ashton Arthur 6-4, 6-3 in the first round, before playing the tournament's third seed, Caley Rezabek from Camdenton. She put up a great fight, but lost the first set 5-7, before losing the second set 2-6.
"Laura McCutcheon also had a great day winning round one and almost taking the first set from the third seeded player. That was a great match despite the fact that Laura was battling though some back pain and a very high level opponent," said coach Schisler. "I felt like on another day, she might win the match and be a district medalist."
In doubles, Olivia Burken and Rylee Kreite had yet another matchup with Lebanon in their first match. They lost to the duo of Addi Mylar and Megan Adams 0-6, 2-6 in the first round. The second doubles team for Rola put up a fantastic fight against Smith-Cotton in their first round match. Kathleen Beetner and Shannon Chan faced off against Anna Slypich and Emaly Kotoch and each team won a set by a score of 6-4. After splitting the first set, the third set needed to go to a tiebreaker, where the Smith-Cotton pair snuck away with a 5-7 victory to win the set 6-7 and eliminate the Lady Bulldogs.
"Our top doubles faced a team we have seen a lot of recently. I am not sure either pairing would have chosen the other to play. In the end, we tip our hats to Lebanon for executing their game plan," said Schisler. "Our second doubles really stepped up and competed. That was our 6 and 7 players battling Smith-Cotton’s 3 and 5 players. It doesn’t get much closer than that match ending in a third set tie break. It also gives us a lot to look forward to in the future."
Butz will continue her season in Sectionals on Tuesday, Oct. 3.