BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
We hope you enjoyed watching our RTC area boys tennis teams this year.
Because they are all coming back next year.
With no seniors on either Rochester or Tippecanoe Valley, this was a year of transition for area teams. Due to fewer coronavirus-related quarantines and protocols placed on teams, teams were able to practice more, and we saw improvement in a lot of players.
We are already looking forward to a high level of play in the fall of 2022.
Now let’s celebrate the best of this year with our All-RTC team. Last year, we named Valley’s Payton Mills as our first ever Player of the Year.
This time, we are giving it to a doubles team – Valley’s Annikan Pettit and Cooper Walls. They were a consistently excellent duo all season.
Dylan Neese (Tippecanoe Valley) – Neese spent the summer working on his game to prepare himself for the move from No. 2 to No. 1 singles for his junior season, and his improvement was noticeable. He’s a classic hardcourt player – good serve, big forehand.
Brayden Zink (Rochester) – If Neese was more of a power player, Zink utilized a lot of topspin forehands and slice backhands to handcuff his opponents. He looked comfortable moving from No. 3 to No. 1 in the Zebra lineup.
Brock Bowers (Rochester) – Bowers relied on precise groundstrokes and some net approaches when his opponents would least expect them. He’s a polished player.
Annikan Pettit-Cooper Walls (Tippecanoe Valley) (RTC Players of the Year) – Pettit’s net presence and sharp volleying skills complemented Walls’ strong serve and groundstrokes beautifully.
Tanner Reinartz-Cody Smith (Rochester) – This was a pretty athletic duo that gained chemistry as the year progressed. They could win matches at the net or from the baseline.
Honorable mention singles
Drew Strasser (Rochester)
Honorable mention doubles
Robert Bozzo-Jake Freeman (Rochester)
Cooper Walls Annikan Pettit