The Rolla tennis team advanced their winning streak to four games to open the season when they hosted Waynesville for an Ozark Conference match on Thursday, Mar. 21. The Bulldogs narrowly pulled out a 5-4 win to keep their undefeated season alive.
The Bulldogs kicked things off by taking two of the three doubles matches. Pranal Madria and Joel Schott took care of business at number one with an 8-2 win. Micah Martin and Owen Akins then edged the duo of Tyler Jones and Caleb Andrews 8-6. Josiah Homan and Jacob Lenox fell at number three to Sean Berrios and Aron Emparatto 8-2.
The match remained close in singles play. Waynesville took the first match at number one, as Tyler Gayman beat Madria 8-5. Martin had his hands full with Jones at number two, but he managed to win a tiebreaker 7-5 to win 10-9 in what would end up being the deciding match. Schott beat Sean Berrios 8-3, before Akins beat Chris Perkins by the same score. Andrews outlasted Homan 8-5 at number five, before Emparatto beat Ethan Wang 8-6 at number six.
"As expected this was a very close match. The middle of our lineup had just a little bit more tonight," said head coach Joe Schisler. "We will almost certainly see this team in the conference tournament and maybe again in districts. I think both teams have a lot growing to do between now and then. We won some tonight we cold have lost and lost some we could have won.
"I am very proud of the confidence our guys are playing with," continued the Rolla head coach. "They are finding ways to face the tough times in matches and bounce back to win. As I looked at the schedule in preseason, I was hoping to come out of this stretch 2-2, so 4-0 is nice especially since we will have time later in the season to recover and work towards getting better yet. Our next several matches will be increasingly hard, and probably make us better too."
The Bulldogs will now have the week off for Spring Break before traveling to Hickman on Wednesday, April 3.