Perfect season in reach for Rock Bridge tennis team

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | 9:27 p.m. CDT; updated 12:08 a.m. CDT, Thursday, May 24, 2012

COLUMBIA — After playing to a 22-0 record, the Rock Bridge High School boys tennis team has come to its most important matches.

The Bruins enter Thursday's Class 2 state semifinals with a third straight state championship in mind. Rock Bridge won the state title the past two years and in 2008.

Thursday's competition

  • Semifinal game at 9 a.m. Thursday
  • Championship game at 1 p.m. Thursday

The games will take place at Cooper Tennis Complex at 2331 E. Pythian St.,  Springfield. For directions to the complex or to view the Class 2 Boys Tennis Bracket go to

Rock Bridge senior Jack Fay graduated Sunday and is now preparing for Thursday's semifinal against Eureka High School (19-0). Fay said he thinks this is a match the Bruins can definitely win.

“We need to focus on playing our game style,” Fay said. “It is a very winnable match.”

Rockhurst High School is another school Rock Bridge is thinking about heading into Thursday. The Hawklets (10-1) are playing in the other semifinal, and the Bruins figure they will meet them in a challenging championship.

Rock Bridge ran into weather problems in its regular season meeting against Rockhurst, and the match was canceled halfway through with the teams tied. Fay said at courts 1 through 3, the Bruins were winning, and at courts 4 through 6, Rockhurst was winning.

“We played 30-40 minutes then the games ended up getting rained out,” Fay said. “Rockhurst was the toughest team we have played this season.”

The Bruins practiced Tuesday and it appeared to be a normal practice, with the atmosphere appearing calm and fun. The team joked with coach Ben Loeb, who continued to give instructions as if it were the first day of practice.

Loeb would instruct his players on hitting better and repeating the good hits.

"Practice variety. Do it again," Loeb said. "Yeah, good one."

The saying is practice makes perfect. So far, this is true for the Bruins.

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