by Eric Oslund
The Rogers boys tennis battled through the cold temperatures and snow flurries during their game against Big Lake on Thursday, April 27. Unfortunately, despite their best effort, the team ended up losing the match 4-3.
Freshman R.J. Griffiths continues to be a bright spot for the Royals, as he made quick wok of his No. 1 singles opponent, winning in two straight sets 6-0 and 6-0. The problem was that he was the only Royals singles player to record a win, so they would need their doubles to step up.
The team’s No. 1 doubles pairing of Nolan Murray and Nick Soppeland dropped their first set by a score of 6-0, but were able to bounce back and win the final two sets by scores of 6-2 and 6-1. Their No. 2 doubles pairing of Kirby Schmalz and Reed Kolles also came away with a win, taking both sets by a score of 7-5.
But Big Lake would come out on top in No. 3 doubles, which sealed up the victory.
The Royals would follow that match up with one against Anoka the following day, and would once again fall by a score of 4-3.
Griffiths would fall in two sets by scores of 7-6 and 6-2, a rare sight as it was just his second loss of the season. However, senior captain Kolles was able to step up as the team’s No. 2 singles player and take his match by scores of 7-5 and 6-3 to record his seventh consecutive victory.
Once again, all three doubles pairings would have to get wins for the Royals, and once again the pairing of Murray and Soppeland at No. 1 doubles came out victorious (6-1, 6-3), as did the No. 2 pairing of Schmalz and Mike Mittelstaedt (6-2, 6-4).
Unfortunately for the Royals, the No. 3 doubles match once again went to their opponents. After that loss, the team sits at 5-6 overall, 2-2 in the conference, and 2-1 in their section.
“That was the team’s fourth 3-4 loss,” head coach Nicholas Scheevel said. “We’ve had two 4-3 wins, so lots of close matches this year. It all depends on who steps up each day.”