They gathered for pictures, hugged, chatted and smiled. They did not cry, reminisce or bid farewell.
The Rock Bridge tennis team left the pomp and circumstance for another night, dispatching Hickman 9-0 Tuesday.
Unlike several other sports, there was no formal ceremony to commemorate the Bruins’ final regular-season home match. They will return to the courts for districts on Saturday.
“I guess it’s senior day because it’s the last home meet of the season, so it’s kind of special,” senior Sarah Seltsam said.
Instead, the players are preparing for the most important part of the season, the upcoming playoffs.
“I think we are ready,” Seltsam said. “We’ve kind of been waiting for it to happen and getting pumped.”
They showed signs of being pumped, and of domination, throughout singles. Hickman (4-10) managed only four games in six matches and Kara Hickey (No. 1), Kirsten Stople (No. 3) and Ashley Miles (No. 6) all won shutouts.
Whitney Reys, Karla Kruse and Seltsam were straight-set winners in the second, fourth and fifth flight singles to complete the sweep.
Rock Bridge (23-0) rested its top four players in doubles, giving coach Ben Loeb the opportunity to test Seltsam and Miles in the No. 1 match.
“I think from a team standpoint it was important for us to play them at No. 1 doubles today because it gave them a chance to play a more challenging match,” Loeb said. “I thought they played very well today, and having them play together just gives them that much more experience in getting ready for what hopefully will become bigger and better opportunities in the near future.”
Seltsam and Miles beat the Kewpies’ No. 1 team of Katie Glenn and Carrie Ingersoll 6-2, 6-2.
Despite the lopsided nature of the dual, Miles acknowledged the atmosphere surrounding the rivalry.
“It was a fun match; a lot of good rallies and good points,” Miles said. “It was exciting. It’s still Hickman/Rock Bridge, so we get into it. The crowd gets into it”
Hickman coach Jerry Price said he thinks there are things for his team to take away from this match with one dual to go heading into districts.
“We always have pockets of success that we look for and try to build on rather than focus necessarily on what the score is or how we measure up,” Price said.
He added that he respects and admires Rock Bridge’s program, and knows that playing stiff competition helps his team improve.
“That really causes their level of play to get better quicker. I think they understand that this does nothing but push our level up as well,” Price said.