The victories keep adding up for the Rock Bridge tennis team.
The Bruins defeated Jefferson City 9-0 on Wednesday at Bethel Park and improved to 14-1. It was the Bruins’ third consecutive shutout and ninth this season.
Setting state records
Stephanie Smarr defeated Rachel Hazelwood 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. The win is Smarr’s 103rd career singles win. Kristen Kornegay set the state record last year with 104. As a freshman, Smarr earned 33 wins to set the state record for the most wins in a single season.
Kara Hickey, Sarah Seltsam, Karla Kruse and Ashley Miles didn’t lose a game in singles.
Kruse and Miles defeated Jennifer Englehart and Brianna Bussel at No. 2 doubles 6-1, 6-1. They have played doubles together for four years, Kruse said.
“We have a long history,” Kruse said. “We know each other pretty well when we’re on the court together.”
The dominating play has made it easy for Bruins coach Ben Loeb to test different lineups and get younger players varsity experience.
Loeb moved Kruse, who usually plays at No. 4 singles to No. 5 and pulled up Miles, the regular No. 5 player.
“I just do whatever I can for the team,” Kruse said. “The lineup changes year to year so you never know what to expect. I was more happy for Ashley, she got to play No. 4.”
Loeb also shuffled senior Jennifer Santoyo into the doubles lineup to play in her first varsity match. Santoyo and Smarr defeated Shelby Penno and Erin Graham 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 3 spot.
“Jennifer and Stephanie are good friends,” Loeb said. “I wanted to give them a chance to play together.”
No. 3 Whitney Reys defeated Penno 3-6, 6-1, 10-4, in the longest match. After nearly 90 minutes of singles play, Reys teamed up with Hickey to defeat Hazelwood and Amanda Cook 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles.
Lady Jays are young team
Jefferson City (9-7) coach Jaime Vargas is familiar with Rock Bridge tennis because he coached for the Bruins in 1987. The Lady Jays also met the Bruins earlier this year.
“We just came out here to play, no expectations,” Vargas said. “We saw Rock Bridge when we played them earlier in the season.”
The Bruins defeated the Lady Jays 9-0 in Jefferson City on Sept. 16.
Vargas coaches a young team with two freshmen and no seniors. Bussel, a freshman, just began to play tennis in June.
“She is a very good athlete,” Vargas said. “She just started playing tennis and now she is on varsity.”