Bruins’ Franck grows into top singles spot

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:22 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It’s been a season of growth for Rock Bridge tennis player Aron Franck.

Franck, a sophomore, played junior varsity for the Bruins last year. At the start of this season, he took over the No. 1 varsity singles spot. Pretty impressive for a guy who turns 16 next week and is still working on learning how to drive.

“Parking’s still a little bit of an issue,” Franck said.

When it comes to tennis, though, his match Tuesday against Jefferson City’s Josh Roling was a good indication of how far he’s come.

His first meeting against Roling on April 4 wasn’t even close. Roling cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 victory. This time around, Franck took the match in a tiebreaker 6-4, 4-6, 10-7. Rock Bridge beat the Jays 9-0 to remain undefeated at 19-0 on the season.

“Great tennis,” said Jefferson City coach Mark Anderson, noticing the improvement in Franck’s play since the last time the two met.

“He’s got more confidence. He’s really striking the ball well.”

After the win, Franck’s teammates surrounded him in a sea of green shirts, and even the normally low-key Franck had to admit it was a strong performance.

“I still have those days where I don’t play that great,” Franck said. “But today was definitely going well for me.”

It went well across the board for the Bruins. Rock Bridge coach Ben Loeb said it was the best dual meet the team has played this season.

Loeb said Franck’s win was especially impressive considering the quality of his opponent.

“Josh Roling is an excellent tennis player and to beat someone of his caliber takes a lot,” he said.

Loeb said Franck has exceeded expectations and proven he can win close matches against good players. The next step is building confidence that he can do it consistently.

“I want him to be able to expect that and feel comfortable with being able to do that,” Loeb said.

With the district tournament on Saturday, the two players could meet again this week. Both are considered top singles players among the district teams.

“I suspect they’ll be two of the top seeds in districts,” Anderson said. “They’ve got a pretty good chance of running into each other for the rubber match.”

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