Jones, Swift bounce back for Rock Bridge boys tennis at sectionals

Monday, May 13, 2013 | 8:06 p.m. CDT; updated 9:52 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 13, 2013
Rock Bridge tennis players competed at a Class 2, Sectional 5 tournament Monday at Cosmo-Bethel Park. Rohit Rao and his partner Jacob Winton defeated Glendale in a doubles tournament 6-1, 6-0; Alex Jones and his partner Billy Swift defeated Glendale in a doubles tournament 6-2, 6-1; and Raymond Majors lost in a singles tournament to Glendale 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

COLUMBIA— In their final high school tennis match at Cosmo-Bethel Park, Rock Bridge seniors Alex Jones and Bill Swift might have found a new superstition.

Usually the Bruins wear green shirts for their matches. Without any planning, both Jones and Swift wore white team shirts to their Class 2 Sectional 5 tournament Monday at Cosmo-Bethel Park, the host site. 

Jones and Swift lost to teammates and the Bruins No. 2 doubles team of Rohit Rao and Jacob Winton at the district tournament on Saturday. The loss meant the seniors were a lower seed for the sectionals and had to play Glendale’s No. 1 doubles team.

But Jones and Swift defeated Glendale’s Luke Hansen and John Nahon 6-2, 6-1, and afterward Swift said, “Maybe it will bring us some good luck. We will have to try it again."

When the match began, Jones shuffled around the court in his black and yellow shoes, and Swift in his neon green shoes. They knew where each other would be after each shot.

Rock Bridge coach Ben Loeb said he liked the energy they brought to the match.

“When they lose a match that they did on Saturday, you might think they would go about it ho-hum,” Loeb said. “You have to be resilient to be successful, and I really admire that in them today.”

Rao and Winton will advance to the state doubles tournament, too. They defeated Glendale’s Hayden Fulk and Spencer Weller 6-1, 6-0.

Despite the dominating win, Rao knows he and Winton can be better.

“I thought we played well, but there are some things we need to work on,” Rao said. "We still need to work on service returns and some shot selection.”

In the singles competition, Glendale’s Micah Klousia beat Rock Bridge’s Raymond Majors 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Loeb said he was proud how Majors played and called him “the star of the day.”

“Raymond played like a winner,” Loeb said. “I think the guy he played can very well win a state title in singles some day. He was right there with him but couldn’t get enough in the end.”

Camdenton’s Luc Ginoux defeated Waynesville’s Robert Osborn 6-0, 6-3 in the other singles match.

Both Ginoux and Klousia will play in the state singles tournament.

Rock Bridge will play next in the team sectionals against Glendale at 9 a.m. Saturday in Springfield. The winner of that match will play the winner of Joplin and Central (Springfield) later in the day. 

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