The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 18, 2013

Eagles fall to Rock Bridge in state tennis

From staff reports

— The Joplin Eagles advanced to the Class 2 quarterfinals with a 5-0 win over Springfield Central but were eliminated 5-1 by Rock Bridge in team tennis competition on Saturday.

“I thought our boys came out and played extremely well against Central,” Joplin coach Sean McWilliams said. “We played in the early morning, which is something we’re not accustomed to, but we started well. Unfortunately, we had to face Rock Bridge. They are one of the toughest, if not the toughest team in the state.”

Joplin’s Jeremy Lynn defeated Alex Jones 6-3, 6-0 for the Eagles’ lone win against Rock Bridge.

Before that, Joplin cruised past Central in five matches as none of the matches went to a third set.

The Eagles end their team season with a 17-4 record.

“We’ve had a great season,” McWilliams said. “One of our goals was to make state and get through Rock Bridge. We fell short of that, but we accomplished a lot. We were conference champions and district champions back to back. Both of those are huge accomplishments. That’s something Joplin had never done before.”

And while Joplin was eliminated from team competition, Lynn remains alive in singles and Luke Frogge and Edran Ali are competing in doubles.

McWilliams said Lynn and the doubles team will compete at 9 a.m. Friday. Only 16 singles players and 16 doubles players remain.

“We’ll rest them (today), and then get back to work on Monday,” he said. “I feel like both of them have a legitimate shot to make state.”