COLUMBIA – It was a rather anticlimactic ending to the final of the Mid-Missouri Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
With the match already clinched, the Rock Bridge boys' tennis team sat and watched as No. 1 player freshman Ford Zitch finished a long, grinding match. Winning the match in a second-set tiebreaker, Zitch sealed a 9-0 victory for the Bruins.
Rock Bridge was in its typical dominating form, winning the tournament without dropping a single match. On Saturday morning, the Bruins easily swept the doubles matches at Cosmo Park before moving to Bethel Park for singles play.
It was the same story in singles, with five of the six matches being won quickly and decisively.
“To beat a team like Blue Springs South 9-0 is surprising,” coach Ben Loeb said. “Our guys rose to the occasion and played quite well.”
Zitch was the only one who found himself in a tough match as he had to battle back from deficits in both sets. With players and parents from both teams watching and commenting on the high level of play, Zitch came out with a 7-5, 7-6 (4) victory.
“He had a tough challenge there, but he’s very comfortable,” Loeb said. “He’s grown into becoming more and more comfortable in tight situations and I think that gives him a lot of confidence.”
Loeb said a win like this gives his entire team confidence heading into the final stages of the season.
“Districts isn’t for a little bit, but I think this gives us a lot of confidence as we move forward to the latter third of the season,” he said.
Rock Bridge moved to 13-0 and has now won 39 straight dual matches going back to last season. The Bruins’ next match is Tuesday, when they will head to Marshall to take on the Owls.