Bruins breeze to state tennis meet

Rock Bridge improves season shutout total to 12 in sectional final.
Sunday, October 19, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:11 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

It has become a familiar routine for Rock Bridge.

For the fifth straight year, the Bruins cruised into the state tournament Saturday.

Rock Bridge defeated Kickapoo 6-0 in the sectional final at Bethel Park, earning their 12th shutout of the season. They play Incarnate Word Academy on Thursday in the first round of the state tournament in Springfield.

All the Bruins’ singles players won in straight sets. The teams did not play doubles. Kara Hickey, Stephanie Smarr, Karla Kruse, and Sarah Seltsam didn’t lose a game against the Chiefs (11-4).

In the closest match, No. 3 Whitney Reys was down 0-3 in the second set, but beat Jennifer Kim 6-1, 6-4.

No. 2 Smarr, a senior, increased her state record of wins to 110 with her win against Connie Bell.

Bruins coach Ben Loeb said Smarr earned a quality win in her last home match.

“Stephanie played well all day,” Loeb said.

The Chiefs played without their normal No. 1, Meagan Brown, the District 6 champion, and their regular No. 4 Lauren Powell.

Chiefs coach Susan Lynch said the match would have been more competitive if her team were at full strength. Brown was resting a back injury, and Powell had a scheduling conflict, Lynch said.

“If they were here you never know what would have happened,” Lynch said. “If we wanted to go head-to-head with Rock Bridge, we know that we would have had to have our No. 1 and 4 players.”

The Bruins (17-1) defeated Joplin 6-0 in the first round. It was the second time the Bruins shut out the Eagles (14-2) this season.

Kruse lost one game at No. 5 and Seltsam lost one at No. 6.

At No. 1, Hickey was down 0-3 in the first set, but bounced back to defeat Melissa Hoffmeister 7-5, 6-1. Hickey defeated Hoffmeister 6-0, 6-0 on Sept. 13.

“I got off to a slow start,” Hickey said. “I wasn’t playing as well as last time but give credit to her, she was playing really well.”

In the first round, Kickapoo defeated Rolla 5-4.

Kickapoo won the singles matches 4-2 at the Country Club of Missouri, then the teams played doubles at Bethel Park.

At No. 3 doubles, Kickapoo’s Caitlyn Greene and Sarah Thompson defeated the Bulldogs’ Hannah Plasse and Cassie Maerz 6-3, 7-5 in the deciding match.

Rolla (12-1) made its first appearance in a sectional tournament.

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