- Val T.
Rochester tennis notes: Girls tennis coach Atkinson resigns
Bozzo, Zink fall to Warsaw duo in doubles sectional
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Rochester girls tennis coach Jesse Atkinson resigned, effective the Oct. 4 Rochester School Board meeting.
Rochester went 4-7 last spring. The season ended with a 5-0 loss to Culver Academy in the sectional final.
Rochester lost three of their seven varsity players – No. 1 singles player Kylie Houston, No. 1 doubles player Emily Hughes and No. 2 doubles player Makenna Beall – to graduation. A fourth player, No. 3 singles player Lillith Eaton, transferred to Mishawaka Marian.
Atkinson coached Rochester to consecutive sectional titles in 2016 and 2017. They are the only two sectional titles in school history.
Bozzo, Zink fall in doubles tournament (Oct. 5): Rochester’s No. 1 doubles team lost to a team from Warsaw in a doubles sectional match at Culver Academy on Oct. 5.
Charles Norton and Drew Ryser topped the Rochester duo of Robert Bozzo and Brayden Zink 6-3, 6-1. Norton and Ryser eliminated Tippecanoe Valley’s Annikan Pettit and Cody Smith in three sets one day earlier.
No. 1 singles players and No. 2 doubles teams are eligible to continue playing in their respective state tournaments if they remain unbeaten through the team state tournament and their team is eliminated.
The Rochester team lost to North Judson 3-2 on Sept. 28 in the sectional semifinal, but Bozzo and Zink won and advanced.
Northwestern 5, Rochester 0 (Sept. 21): Tanner Reinartz won a set at No. 2 singles, but the Rochester boys tennis team lost to Northwestern 5-0 at the RHS courts in their regular season finale on Sept. 21.
Reinartz lost 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 to Blake Wise. Reinartz trailed 2-5 in the third set but won three straight games to even the set, Wise then broke Reinartz’s serve and then held serve to close out the match.
Rochester finished the regular season 8-3. This was their only regular season match in which they did not score a point.
Other Zebra players included Brock Bowers, who fell to Aurel Vonzun 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles; Luke Hunting, who lost 6-3, 6-3 to Ian Woods at No. 3 singles; Robert Bozzo and Brayden Zink, who fell 6-2, 7-5 to Clayton Griswold and Ethan Kearney at No. 1 doubles; and Jake Freeman and Brady Morgan, who dropped a 6-1, 6-1 decision to A.J. Burkhalter and Hudson Whaley at No. 2 doubles.
This marked the final career home matches for seniors Bowers, Hunting, Zink and Freeman.
Northwestern also won the JV match 6-0.
“As long as I can remember, CMA’s there, and they have strong, strong teams,” Rochester interim coach Mason Heyde said, referring to the upcoming sectional and 18-time defending sectional champion Culver Academy. “So really, these are the last matches the boys really feel like are winnable. So we’ll get some good groundstrokes in. We’ll have fun. … Most likely, there’s very little chance of beating CMA. But if they have fun and go out there and win some games … Have fun with it. That’s what we’re here for.”
Results: Northwestern 5, Rochester 0
Aurel Vonzun (NW) def. Brock Bowers (RHS), 6-1, 6-0
Blake Wise (NW) def. Tanner Reinartz (RHS), 2-6, 6-1, 7-5
Ian Woods (NW) def. Luke Hunting (RHS), 6-3, 6-3
Clayton Griswold-Ethan Kearney (NW) def. Robert Bozzo-Brayden Zink (RHS), 6-2, 7-5
A,J. Burkhalter-Hudson Whaley (NW) def. Jake Freeman-Brady Morgan (RHS), 6-1, 6-1
JV results: Northwestern 6, Rochester 0
Harrison Dunwoody (RHS) lost 8-6.
Wade Bowers (RHS) lost 8-0.
Ashton Musselman (RHS) lost 8-1.
Hunter Kamp (RHS) lost 8-5.
Jonas Kiser-Carter Merideth (RHS) lost 8-5.
Drake Heishman-Lincoln Holder (RHS) lost 8-1.