Bruins set to net elusive state title

Thursday, May 27, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:33 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The opponents are familiar, but Rock Bridge doesn’t want a familiar result. This time, it wants a state championship.

The Rock Bridge boys’ tennis team plays Chaminade (11-6) today at 9 a.m. in the Class 2 state semifinals at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield, Mo. If the Bruins win the match, they will face the winner of the Rockhurst/Kirkwood match in the final at 1 p.m.

This is the third straight year the Bruins (14-1) have reached the semis, which feature three of the same teams for the third straight year.

This year’s semifinalists are the same as 2002. Rock Bridge beat Kirkwood in the semis, but lost in the final to Rockhurst, which had beaten Chaminade in its semifinal.

Last year, Rock Bridge lost in the semifinals to Rockhurst, which went on to win the final against Lafayette, a semifinal winner against Chaminade.

Rock Bridge’s win against Chaminade last year in the third-place match might give the Bruins confidence today against the Flyers (11-6).

Senior Jon-Eric Meyer, who plays No. 1 singles for the Bruins, said the hard work the team has put in gives him confidence. He also said he would like to face Rockhurst in the final.

“We have to be very focused,” Meyer said. “Hopefully, the outcome will be in our favor.”

Meyer, who plays with Scott Hawf on the Bruins’ No. 2 doubles team, will also play singles in the individual competition, which starts at 10:15 a.m. Friday and concludes Saturday. Matt Dresner and Justin Winner, the Bruins’ No. 1 doubles team, will also play in the individual tournament.

Winner will play No. 3 singles for the Bruins, Kyle Kindernecht is at No. 4, Dennis Smith at No. 5 and Stefan Nosic at No. 6. Smith and Kindernecht will play at No. 3 doubles.

Bruins coach Ben Loeb said after winning the sectional title on May 22, he has emphasized doubles play in practice. “We are confident in our doubles play,” Dresner said. “I think we have a fair chance of winning the state title.”

Loeb, though, said he wants the team to focus on the semis because Chaminade is a tough team.

“Our focus now is to get to the final,” Loeb said. “We need to play a good meet first and then we can think about winning the state title.”

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