Tennis prepares to defend state title

Caraline Trecha

Senior Ford Zitch plays a single match during a match April 3 against Jefferson City. They won 9-0. Photo by Stazi Prost
On Thursday, May 23, the RBHS boys tennis team (22-0)will be competing for their third consecutive team state title.
Their first match will start at 9 a.m. against Eureka (19-0), something the Bruins said should be a quick and easy win.
“The first match shouldn’t be too tough,” senior Ford Zitsch said. “We are just flat out better than them.”
After the Bruins hopeful victory, they will continue to play against Rockhurst (10-1) or Parkway Central (17-3) that afternoon for the state title.
To start off the match, all the six single players will compete and then the three double matches will follow. The first team to win five of the nine cumulative single or doubles matches will win the title. With a lot of practices and hard work, the Bruins have high expectations for their matches to come.
“We haven’t done anything significantly different to prepare,” Zitsch said. “We just underwent the magnitude of the match and what we can accomplish so we’ve been really focused.”
Focus during practice for the match tomorrow has been on the doubles. The Bruins feel that the doubles component of the competition is their specialty and will help lead to more victories.
“We have been putting in a lot of emphasis and practice into our doubles,” Zitsch said, “because we know it is going to be key.”
Not only is skill important to the Bruins, team camaraderie is as well, the team said. To accomplish this, Tennis Coach Ben Loeb fits in enough time for the team to build relationships with each other, hoping to create more chemistry for the Bruins.
“We have been practicing three hours a day, all season for this match,” senior Jack Fay said. “Not only practice but also bonding. Coach Loeb is also big on team bonding, so we like to spend 15 minutes of each practice hugging each other and expressing our feelings.”
Not only are the Bruins expecting big things, but Loeb is as well; he hopes their countless hours of practicing and team bonding pull them through their matches tomorrow.
“I think we will preform well,” Coach Loeb said. “It will be a challenging day but if we handle it well we can make greatness happen.”
By Caraline Trecha