Boys tennis seeks success in Louisville

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Ji-Ho Lee

Ben Loeb, head coach of boys and girls tennis teams, has reached 32 Final Fours and won a combined 15 state titles while coaching Bruin athletes. During this impressive tenure, Loeb explains the mentality and attitude of his athletes lead to success.
“The biggest thing I like about coaching both our boys and girls teams at [RBHS] is we have enough student-athletes that are truly committed to continual improvement in this sport,” Loeb said. “Winning is a lot more fun than losing.  It starts with the level of commitment.”
The boys tennis team looks to continue the extended success Loeb’s teams have experienced. For senior Brian Baker, the depth of the team can lead to another appearance in the Final Four.
“I believe the biggest strength this year will be our depth. We have very strong players at the top and we do not drop off at the bottom,” Baker said. “Each of our top six [players] can play close matches with one another and that gives us an advantage in every dual that we compete in.”
Despite the talent of the top six players, the team is a fairly young group of athletes, many of whom have experienced no more than a single season of varsity play. As a result, Baker’s experience and leadership become vital to the team’s success.
“Being a senior leader is a great position to be in,” Baker said. “I love to lead and the role fits well with my personality. I was in nearly the same position last year, being the oldest on the team, so being in the senior role feels very comfortable.”
Sophomore Jake Franfelder is one of the young athletes on the squad. Despite his youth, Franfelder is excited to compete for such a historic program.
“It is amazing that I have this opportunity to play tennis at such a great school and a tennis program with a history of success on and off the court,” Franfelder said. “[To be successful,] we have to put in the time and effort in practices. We can’t take days off or slack during practice.”
Practices will be particularly important early in the season for the young Bruin squad, as the team competes in first running of the Louisville Tournament, beginning April 22.
“These teams are some of the top programs in the country and it is always fun to see where our team stacks up in the national field,” Baker said. “Our hope is to compete hard and to win every dual we play in. I believe that we have the talent to do so if we come to play hard on each game day.”