The Rolla tennis team faced off against Houston for a matchup on Friday, April 13. The Bulldogs were able to get their sixth win on the season with a 7-2 victory.
The Bulldogs started the night by taking two of the three doubles matches. Their lone loss came 8-3 at number one. At number two, the duo of Micah Martin and Owen Akins won 8-3, while at number three Ethan Wang and Josiah Homan won 8-2.
That momentum carried right into singles play, where the Bulldogs won five of the six matches. Pranal Madria opened with an 8-3 win over Isiah Buse at number won, before Joel Schott won the by the same score over Clayton Moore at number two. Martin had a tough match at number three against Clayton Moore, but he was able to come away with an 8-6 win. The lone loss came at number four, where Wang fell to Kyle Mills 8-4. Rolla kept rolling though, as Homan shut out Elliot Clark 8-0. Akins closed out the match with an 8-5 win at number six.
As doubles finished and singles began, we were really treading water and just holding on. Houston jumped out to leads in three or four matches, so our guys really had to hold on then fight their way back into the match. I am particularly proud of how the team responded in singles," said head coach Joe Schisler. "Frankly, I thought Houston would give us even more trouble in the singles round. We graduated our top two players, and they graduated their middle two players. Last year they beat us 5-4 by winning 4 of the 6 singles matches. Madria, Schott, and Martin in particular played much better as the match went on. This is a very athletic, well coached, and assertive team. That is why we like having them on the schedule. In many ways high school tennis needs to find a more level playing field. When we go to much larger schools, they tend to be deeper due to overall numbers. On other nights, we benefit by being so much larger a school. Everyone seems to have top level players, but down the line up that is harder to create."
Next up for Rolla is the West Plains Tournament on Wednesday, April 17, before the Waynesville Tournament the following day.