Friday was the perfect day for the Rock Bridge tennis team.
The players left school early. The weather was perfect. The conditions were perfect. Most important, its play was perfect.
Rock Bridge earned 9-0 victories against Cape Girardeau Central and Parkway Central at Bethel Park. Kickapoo defeated Cape Girardeau Central 5-4 and lost to Parkway Central 9-0 in the day’s other matches.
The Bruins’ Jon-Eric Meyer set the tone with a 6-1, 6-4 win against Parkway Central’s Charlie Zvibleman in No. 1 singles. Meyer controlled the match and frustrated his opponent with consistent play despite feeling ill.
“He wasn’t feeling his best,” Bruins coach Ben Loeb said. “He certainly gave a good effort throughout and I thought he played well.”
Loeb said he was also pleased with the play of Matt Dresner at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. Dresner faced a match tiebreaker in singles against Parkway Central and another in doubles against Cape Girardeau Central. He prevailed in both.
Dresner defeated Parkway Central’s Alex Sapot 7-5, 3-6 (10-8). In the tiebreaker, Dresner took a 9-5 lead but allowed Sapot to come within one. Sapot had the serve with a chance to tie but double faulted and the match went to Dresner.
Loeb said Dresner’s play was admirable.
“I think that was big,” Loeb said. “He needed that. It was not easy and he found a way to get it done.”
Dresner’s other close victory came in the No. 1 doubles match against Cape Girardeau Central. Dresner and Justin Winner defeated Heath Orr and Will Ramsey 3-6, 6-3 (10-6). Dresner said he and Winner picked up momentum halfway through their second set and carried it through to the end.
Loeb also praised his lower singles players. The 4, 5 and 6 singles positions are a major part of Rock Bridge’s (7-0) success. Loeb singled out the play of Kyle Kinderknecht at No. 4.
Kinderknecht defeated Parkway Central’s Barry Goldenberg 6-1, 6-3 and Cape Girardeau Central’s Will Ramsey 6-0, 6-0.
Loeb said Kinderknecht might be a first-year starter, but his play doesn’t show it.
“He just loves to compete,” Loeb said. “I have a lot of confidence in him and I think he has a lot of confidence in himself because he enjoys it when he’s in a close match.”