Prior to the Monday, May 3 match-up against Grand Haven, the Bucs presented the Rams with a card signed by their entire team expressing their condolences for the unexpected loss of classmate Stephen May. The kind gesture from the Grand Haven team was very much appreciated by the Ram team, coach and parents. A memorial service that afternoon made the match an emotional one for everyone.
The Rockford Rams dug in, played hard and won the match 6-2. Highlights included victories by MJ Bothma (second singles, 7-6, 6-2), Alex Stembaugh (third singles, 6-3, 6-1), and Jenelle Miller (fourth singles, 7-6, 6-2). Second doubles Mackenzie Young and Lindsay Gauger won their flight 6-3, 6-0. Third doubles Tara Murray and Nicole Strobel won their flight in third set action 3-6, 7-5, 6-1. Fourth doubles Megan Zawacki and Julie Daukss also played an exciting third set, winning their flight 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.
Rockford hosted Holland West Ottawa on Wednesday, May 5, losing in this tough conference match 6-2. Winning their flights and posting strong performances were Rams Lauren Korlewitz (first singles, 6-1, 6-3) and Bothma (second singles, 6-0, 6-4).
Commenting on the team performance so far this season, Coach Tom Huizing stated, “We have had some gutsy wins over Grandville and Grand Haven, that have given me and I’m sure the parents a few gray hairs.”
When asked what the team needs to do moving forward, Coach Huizing added, “We need to play tough matches. Win or lose, those matches will make us stronger as we enter into the conference and regional tournaments. The teams that move on to the state tournament are the teams that can handle the pressure in the toughest of matches. I think that our team has made strides over the last couple weeks in dealing with those tough pressure-filled matches. Winning in tennis is such a mental game and when you throw in a pressure-filled scenario, your mind must be in the right place if you plan on being successful. Our team is getting to that point. We’ve done an excellent job making progress, but our season is far from done and we need to continue to make growth in all facets of our game.”
The season is half over and Rockford is 4-2 in conference play so far and 5-3 overall. The OK Red conference meet will be hosted by Rockford this year on Saturday, May 15.