The Rock Bridge boys tennis team is state champion again.
After crushing Parkway Central 5-1 in the semifinals Thursday morning at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield, Mo., the Bruins defeated Rockhurst 5-4 on Thursday afternoon to win the Class 2 state championship.
In 2008, the Bruins defeated Rockhurst for the state championship, but they lost to the Hawklets in last season's state championship match.
Rock Bridge coach Ben Loeb described this season's title match as an “instant classic.”
The Bruins jumped ahead early with two straight singles victories. The Bruins' Ford Zitsch defeated the Hawklets' Andrew Edmonds 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, and Jimmy Hunter defeated Seth Nelson 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 singles, but Rockhurst came back with wins at No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 singles.
Rock Bridge got back into the match in doubles play, though with Zitsch and Hunter winning at No. 1 doubles and Blake Buchert and Sam Johnson winning the No. 2 match.
“The kids showed a lot of resiliency to get back into the game,” Loeb said. “They competed so hard and so well.”