The Rolla tennis team hosted Salem for a match on Monday, April 8. The Bulldogs only dropped one match on their way to an 8-1 win.
The Bulldogs got out to a strong start in singles, winning five of the six matches. Joel Schott took care of business at number one, taking down Salem's Tatum Hatridge 8-6. Micah Martin then beat Hunter Ross 8-5 at number two, before Ethan Wang beat Brock Thompson 8-5 at number three. Owen Akins took down Nate Williams 8-4 at number four, before a dominant 8-2 win by Josiah Homan over Martin Jones at number five. Rolla's lone loss of the night came at number six, where Evan Barth fell to Tristan James 8-3.
Rolla swept doubles, but had a tough match at number two. Martin and Akins were able to pull out the win over Ross and Thompson, but they were pushed to the limits in a 9-7 match. Pranal Madria and Schott cruised to an 8-2 win at number one, while Wang and Homan took care of business at number three 8-3.
Rolla also swept the JV matches with the teams of Jacob Lenox/Cody Neely and Taft Clayton/Tobenna Orizu winning in doubles, while Neely Orizu, Kalib Ragan and Kyle McCutcheon won in singles.
"This was a good solid win for us. Salem is down a bit over the last several years, but they are always well coached and always have good competitive athletes," said head coach Joe Schisler. "I was a little nervous since our line-up had significant changes due to challenges last week. We also had Pranal Madria under the weather, so a couple guys were playing even further up the line-up. Joel Schott moved up from 3 to 1 and played a great match. Ethan Wang also moved up several spots and found a way to win. I also like some of what I am seeing out of Evan Barth who played number six for us last night. I think he is improving and getting closer to playing at his potential. And Micah Martin’s serve is on the way back after a week or two of struggles.
"The team as a whole continues to grow and get better, so I am very pleased," continued the head coach. "I just hope that mindset continues."
Rolla followed the match with a trip to Lebanon on Tuesday, but results were not available at press time. They'll have the rest of the week off after that before traveling to Houston on Tuesday, April 16.