Rock Bridge's Aron Franck aiming toward state tournament

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | 10:36 p.m. CDT; updated 12:01 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA - At the beginning of the season, Rock Bridge senior tennis player Aron Franck said his goal was to finish in the top five of the individual state tournament.

Tuesday at Rock Bridge he picked up a win over Jefferson City sophomore Ryan Claypool at No. 1 singles to signify that his goal is within reach. The Bruins swept the Jays 9-0.

Franck lost to Claypool earlier this season in Jefferson City, but Coach Ben Loeb said Franck played much better this time around.

“You gotta do some good things to beat a player of that caliber and Aron did that,” Loeb said.

Claypool came to the net immediately after almost every one of his serves, a rarity for high school players. Loeb called Franck’s forehand wicked and said it was strong enough to win him the match.

“I think Aron struggled more with the serve and volley (last time against Claypool),” Loeb said. “Ryan played well. It was a good win for Aron.”

Franck said he was pleased with his performance, but wouldn’t put it as one of his best matches of the year.

“I’m unpredictable,” Franck said. “I’m kind of a streaky player.”

Franck said the win will give him some confidence going into the district meet and the state tournament. He said he expects to win the district meet and thinks Claypool will be his toughest competition there. The top two singles players at the district meet, which will take place Saturday at Rock Bridge, will qualify for the individual state tournament.

The Bruins (20-0) will conclude the regular season with a dual against Fulton 4 p.m. Thursday at Rock Bridge. Rock Bridge will sit out its top six players for the match.

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