Boys tennis advances individuals to state tourney

Caraline Trecha

Senior Ford Zitsch concentrates on his opponent during a match April 3. Photo by Stazi Prost
The boys tennis team succeeded in the Individual Sectional Singles in order to qualify to move on through their post season Tuesday, May 15 .
Senior Ford Zitsch won his individual match and senior Jack Fay and Alex Jones won their doubles, continuing their seasons.
Zitsch won his individual match up in style, winning 6-0, 6-2 to advance to the state tourney.
Coach Ben Loeb was especially impressed with the performances of these three Bruins.
“Jack and Alex played well, and so did Ford. Ford played really well,” Loeb said. “Ford, and the team especially, have progressed well during this season. We’ll need to play even better against the strong competition to win in the end.”
Zitsch agreed with Loeb and emphasized that the team is not all the way there in terms of how good they’re going to get, and they need to practice more.
“I played Glendale’s No. 3, and he played a great match,” Zitsch said. “Jack and Alex played great and won easy. I can’t think of anything I did particularly well, though. I could have returned better and played better offense, but a win’s a win.”
Jones and Fay won their doubles match up 6-2, 6-1, against a doubles team from Lebanon. Jones said the competition is especially important in preparation for their state match-ups down the road.
“We won easily and just did our thing; we weren’t pushed too hard,” Jones said. “Jack and I will be playing together a lot the next few days to prep for play and get in a good rhythm together.”
Loeb was satisfied with the doubles performance but still saw room for improvement, including working on doubles formations and being more aggressive on their volleys, Loeb said. However, Fay and Jones are a “great combo,” and Loeb is confident in their abilities late in the season.
Following this regional victory, the tennis team now moves on to the state tournament, their last of the year. Rock Bridge is two time defending champion of the state title and look to continue that streak heading forward.
Jones, Fay, Zitsch and Loeb were all confident following the performance against Lebanon but they know better than to be cocky.
“Being confident is good, but letting it get to your head is all the competition needs to get a leg up on you, and then you’re at a disadvantage,” Jones said. “We have to stay focused and work hard for the little time left in the season to make sure we win.”
Their sectional Match is Friday, May 18 in Springfield, Mo.  Zitsch predicts that they’d play Joplin followed by Glendale, with the winner going on to the Final Four. He is positive but cautious as well in his approach.
“Everybody’s good at this level, so we have to focus and play well,” Zitsch said. “Winning a third consecutive title would be a great way to leave high school.”
By Caraline Trecha