The boys’ tennis team [11-1-0] will take on the Hickman High School (HHS) Kewpies today. Although the cross-town rivalry between the Bruins and HHS spans ages, the outcome of the game at this point won’t hold much weight on RBHS’ season record. Head coach Ben Loeb said the team practices for the match just like any other.
“We don’t specifically prepare for Hickman,” Loeb said. “We prepare for whoever our next opponent will be. But we will try to get more than our top six ready to play in some of the varsity matches.”
Senior Zach Greuber has good faith in the outcome of the game, seeing as the season has been going so well; the only dual lost so far was in the semifinals of the Deco Turf National Tournament. To prepare, he said the team members compete against each other to gain confidence in their ability to play well when it matters.
“I think our team is as strong as ever and that we are setting ourselves up to compete for our fourth straight team state title,” Greuber said. “We all want this very badly, so we will continue to work as hard as we can to achieve this goal. Our relationship with each other is very good. We do practically everything together, so we’re extremely comfortable around each other.”
Senior Kavin Anand said playing for RBHS’ tennis team is like being in a family, as the friendships he has built over the years makes the whole process more enjoyable. He hopes to play for a tennis club or team at Stanford University where he will attend this fall. As for HHS, Anand looks forward to contributing to the longtime rivalry.
For Greuber, the game holds a little extra value. Some of his best friends he’s had since elementary school and that he’s been separated from because of the district lines being changed have picked up tennis at HHS. Competing against his friends allows Greuber to see them every so often. To prepare for such an important match and reunitement, Greuber claimed one thing the team can probably improve on is attitude.
“We like to get pretty hyped, but often we rebound into negative energy if things don’t go our way,” Greuber said. “If we could get better at preventing these rebounds, it would help us stay at a constant high level of competition with the better teams.”
When will you cheer on the tennis team next? Let us know in the comments below!