The Rolla tennis team hosted Willow Springs for their second match of the season on Monday, Mar. 18. The Bulldogs dominated the match on the way to an 8-1 team win. Rolla followed the win with a shutout of Osage 9-0 on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs cruised through singles play, with the closest match coming at number one. Pranal Madria still managed to make short work of Elles Moore, though, winning 8-4. Micah Martin then bested Jerry Wicken 8-3, Joel Schott beat Thomas Chaney 8-2, Owen Atkins beat Justin Chaney 8-1, Joshiah Homan beat Martin Leija 8-2, while Ethan Wang crushed Owen Moore 8-1.
Rolla also had two easy doubles wins. Madria and Schott beat E. Moore and T. Chaney easily 8-2 at number one, while Homan and Jacob Lenox beat Leija and O. Moore 8-3 at number three. Number two was a slugfest between the duo of Martin and Akins and the team of Wickens and J. Chaney. The match came down to a tiebreaker, which Willow Springs won 8-5 to take the match.
"I am pleased with he team taking one match at a time and working to get better. We have a lot of talent and seem to be learning from our mistakes," said head coach Joe Schisler. "Willow Springs is a solid team and always well coached. They are probably the team to beat in their district. They were also missing players, so it is hard to know just how well we are playing. Tomorrow night against Osage should give us an idea of where we are compared to last year. We continue to get lots of guys experience and have solid doubles teams, so that is hopeful as we look forward."
The Bulldogs carried the momentum from Monday right into a dominant showing on Tuesday against Osage. Rolla swept singles play with the closest match coming at number one where Madria beat Logan Havner 8-5. Martin bear Drew Elley 8-4, Schoot beat Ethan Kucsik 8-3, Akins beat Ryan Page 8-1, Homan beat William Vickers 8-0 and Wang beat Colin Smithson 8-2.
Doubles play was even more dominant. Madria and Schott took care of business 8-3 at number one, Martin and Akins didn't give up a set in an 8-0 win, while the duo of Homan and Lenox cruised to an 8-0 win to finish off the perfect 9-0 team win.
"This was a much better match than the score looks like. We won a huge percentage of deuce games and really showed improvement playing well the whole match," said coach Schisler. "Like all sports, giving that consistent effort and adapting to your opponent's game makes a huge difference. I was worried about our level of intensity since this was our third match since Friday and the weather has been challenging too. I think we have found ways to improve each day and each match. As long as we continue to do that, the season will be a success."
Rolla will continue their busy week on Thursday when they host Waynesville for an Ozark Conference match.