Rock Bridge ate up another team and then did the same to a cake.
After the Bruins swept Jefferson City 9-0 in tennis Tuesday, coach Ben Loeb said he had a surprise. He led the team to a pavilion at Bethel Park. Loeb said the cake was in honor of senior Taylor Doak, who isn’t a varsity player but occasionally played when needed.
“(Doak) has been valuable member and character on our team,” Loeb said. “He’s a funny guy, and it’s been great having him on the team.”
In his last match at Rock Bridge, Doak played No. 3 doubles with Scott Hawf, winning 6-3, 6-0. Loeb said he was glad Doak finished with a varsity win. Good communication was the reason Doak said he and Hawf were successful. Even with a win, Doak said he left the court with mixed feelings.
“I’m glad it’s over, but it’s been a great four years,” Doak said. “It’s a good match to end it on. I thought I played really well.”
Loeb said he was also pleased the Bruins (12-1) ended the regular season with a strong performance but noticed players got themselves into trouble a few times. He said the team worked hard to overcome its problems.
Loeb cited No. 5 singles as a good example of a player getting in trouble and then prevailing in the end. Dennis Smith defeated Jesse Crowe 6-3, 3-6 (10-4). Loeb said after losing the second set, Smith came on strong in the tiebreaker to earn the win.
Rock Bridge’s Kyle Kinderknecht’s 6-0, 6-3 victory against Henry Thompson at No. 4 was another example.
“Kyle Kinderknecht is pitching a shutout 6-0, 3-0 and the guy wins a couple games,” Loeb said. “Then he gets after it and really plays great tennis again like he had the first nine games.”
Loeb said Matt Dresner was the opposite of his teammates at No. 2. Loeb said Dresner struggled in the first set of his 6-4, 6-1 win against David Kuo. After being down 3-1, Loeb said Dresner turned it around and controlled the rest of the match.
Justin Winner also had a slow start and dominated the second set. At No. 3, he defeated David Richard 7-6 (4), 6-2. Winner said he had problems early.
“My serve was just a little off,” Winner said. “I had some return problems but I corrected them in the second set and it showed.”
Winner seemed to have few problems in the No. 1 doubles match with Dresner. Winner and Dresner defeated Kuo and Richard 6-2, 6-3. Winner said he and Dresner started fast and probably caught their opponents off-guard. Kuo and Richard seemed to regain their composure late in the first set, but it was too late.
“I was really happy how we maintained our poise the whole doubles match,” Winner said.