The Rolla girls tennis team took part in Individual Districts on Friday, Oct. 5. The Lady Bulldogs made a strong push, but couldn't earn a spot in Sectionals to end their season.
There was a bit of a hiccup in singles play, as Springfield Central mistakenly played players that they'd identified as singles players in doubles. They then had to play other players in singles. There was confusion with whether or not those players would be disqualified, but MSHSAA elected to allow the results to stand.
Both Rolla players then ran into the same player from Central. After both Molly Hardwick and Diya Allada received first round byes, Hardwick lost to Central's Addie Pearlman. Allada won her second round match, which set up a semi-final match with Camdenton's Macie Abell. Allada lost to the two seed, which put her in the third place match against Pearlman, which she lost 3-8 to end her season with a fourth place finish.
In doubles, Kathleen Beetner and Shay Belfrey lost a close match in the first round to Waynesville's Emerson/Demelade. Rolla's other pair of Olivia Burken and Rylee Kriete had a first round bye before a win over Lebanon's Miller/Pruit. They ran into the top seed in the semi-final, falling to Central's Vandenburg/Fulk. They then faced off against another pair from Lebanon, White/Myler, in the third place match and lost 4-8 to end their season in fourth place.
"Certainly an interesting day and tournament. Our girls should be proud to have earned a singles and doubles district medal," said head coach Joe Schisler. "During the season we believed we could compete better with Camdenton and Lebanon. This tournament kind of bore some of that out with our top entries finishing solidly just below those district elite competitors but well about so many others.
"Our second entries in singles and doubles also performed very well. The team that played third for us all season long gave Waynesville’s top pair a run for their money," continued the Rolla head coach. "They lead in the tie break 5-4 but just couldn’t quite put it away. They were also the recipient of a faulty call when a well-meaning coach intervened in a rules dispute during the match. They really competed well despite these obstacles. Molly Hardwick had a great match that lasted for over an hour. Each rally was ten or twelve shots long. She just ended up on the wrong end of too many of those. Her play has improved so much in terms of consistency and athleticism. Overall it was a great day and great end to the season."