The Rolla tennis team hosted Jefferson City, who defeated the Lady Bulldogs in last season's District Championship, for their season opener on Tuesday, Aug. 28. The varsity struggled to get into a good rhythm in a 9-0 loss, while the JV won three matches.
The closest match in doubles came from Rolla's number three pair of Kathleen Beetner and Shay Pelfrey. The duo managed to get five points, but couldn't find a win over Jaden Harper and Lauren Slader. Diya Allada and Mya Burken played at number two, falling 8-2 to Reddy Donthreddy. Olivia Burken and Rylee Kriete had their first match as Rolla's number ones, falling to Sundhya Baskar and Hannah Higgins.
Rolla didn't have much more luck in singles. Olivia Burken and Beetner were the only players to score more than a point with Burken falling 8-2 to Baskar at number one and Beetner falling by the same score to Kumar at four. Mya Burken scored in an 8-1 loss to Maddy Becker, while Kriete, Allada and Pelfrey each lost 8-0.
At the JV level, Rolla won three matches in doubles. The pairs of Eliana Stanislawski/Sherri Chan, Annie Maie Bevis/Faith Taylor and Keatelyn Sowers/Emma Taylor each earned wins.
"Girls did a great job of competing. Oliva Burken's match was much closer than the score reflects. Beetner and Pelfrey were in their match until the end," said head coach Joe Schisler. "For our first match right out of the gate, I was pleased with the girls. They competed and got some of the nerves out against a strong opponent.
"The JV match was excellent," continued the Rolla head coach. "We had some young players find wins in their first attempts, so that helps. We have a lot of work to do and no rest.
Rolla had a busy week still to go. The Lady Bulldogs faced off against Hickman on Wednesday, pending weather, but results were not available at press time. They will face Richland on Thursday, again pending weather. Last season, Rolla's matches with Richland in each of the last three seasons have been determined by just one point.