Reinartz, Smith win at No. 1 doubles to finish off Rochester sweep of Wabash
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Tanner Reinartz and Cody Smith refocused, and what was already a win for the
Rochester boys tennis team over Wabash at the RHS courts Wednesday turned into a sweep.
Reinartz and Smith recovered to beat Alex Dinkins and Drake Sparling 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles to complete the Zebras’ 5-0 win.
Rochester lost only 10 games total in winning the other four matches in straight sets.
Brayden Zink beat Nicholas Ewing 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. Brock Bowers took down Kaemon Burton 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. Drew Strasser overpowered Dominic Baker 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.
At No. 2 doubles, Robert Bozzo and Jake Freeman prevailed 6-0, 6-0 over T.J. Fritter and Colton Sellers.
Rochester improved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the Three Rivers Conference.
When Smith served, he was effective at steering the Wabash players’ returns right into Reinartz’s put-away volleys and overheads in the final set. Smith, a junior, said playing with a freshman like Reinartz is no different than if he were playing with a senior, junior or sophomore because they are about at the same skill level.
“After the second set, we realized we needed to get it going and put our foot down and got it going in the last set,” Smith said. “On the second serve, it’s just to get them to hit it back. First serve is to get them to hit it crosscourt to Tanner and Tanner put it away at the net.”
Reinartz’s older brother Kyle, a 2021 Rochester grad, was also a former No. 1 doubles player. Asked what the best tennis advice his brother ever gave him, Tanner smiled and said “none.”
He said he had to adjust his grip on his racket to control his own serve in the third set.
“It’s really fun playing with an upperclassman and getting to be at that stage,” Tanner Reinartz said of his partnership with Smith. “I really enjoy it, just playing with an upperclassman and getting the opportunity to do that. Because when they graduate, it will just be me and Brady (Morgan).”
In the other matches, Zink had to adjust to Ewing’s capricious strategy.
“His opponent tonight was a tough player to figure out what his game is,” Rochester coach Jesse Atkinson said. “At various points throughout the match, he’ll bust out a tremendous serve and volley, and then maybe in the next game, he’ll hit a pristine drop shot. Just trying to figure out what his game was and what he’s going to try and do to win points, and Brayden did a really good job of persevering through some of that and just outlasting him.
Bowers is making the transition from being Kyle Reinartz’s No. 1 doubles partner in 2020 to a singles player in 2021.
“This is a good win for Brock tonight,” Atkinson said. “This was a real good win. He was very much in control of the match at all points of the match. That’s really good for him and his confidence moving forward.”
Atkinson called Strasser a “more sophisticated” player than his Wabash opponent.
Bozzo and Freeman are first-time varsity players who dominated their Wabash opponents.
“They are able to at a spot in a lot of people’s lineups where some coaches try to hide weaker players, those are two guys who at the end of the day are going to do what they can to try and keep the ball in play,” Atkinson said. “That’s the name of the game at 2 doubles for sure. Those guys do a great job of making adjustments if need be and staying aggressive.”
Rochester will host Maconaquah at 10 a.m. Saturday.
RESULTS: ROCHESTER 5, WABASH 0
Brayden Zink (RHS) def. Nicholas Ewing (WAB), 6-3, 6-1
Brock Bowers (RHS) def. Kaemon Burton (WAB), 6-2, 6-0
Drew Strasser (RHS) def. Dominic Baker (WAB), 6-2, 6-2
Tanner Reinartz-Cody Smith (RHS) def. Alex Dinkins-Drake Sparling (WAB), 7-5, 3-6, 6-2
Robert Bozzo-Jake Freeman (RHS) def. T.J. Fritter-Colton Sellers (WAB), 6-0, 6-0