Boys varsity tennis takes first in FHE Hawk Invitational

Ken Smith winds up his big serve while Zak Riebschleger is ready at the net for the return.

The Rockford High School boys varsity tennis team continues to compete and score important team victories for the 2012 season. On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Rams traveled to Forest Hills Eastern (FHE) High School to compete in the always tough FHE Hawk Tournament. This is a “quad tourney” with four varsity teams participating in match play throughout the day. Varsity tennis teams from Lowell, Calvin Christian, and FHE high schools all came into the tournament ready to compete with each respective team and to prove their mettle on the courts at FHE.

Tyler Kowalk prepares to return a serve with another big ground stroke.

With four schools in the tournament, each singles player and doubles team plays three matches against opponents from the other three schools, throughout a very long day of competitive tennis. In order to make it through three matches in a single day, every player on the team must maintain a strong focus on the game, all day in order to maintain that competitive edge.

As the day wore on, each player and coach for the team did just that. When the dust settled on the courts, the Rams varsity team came out number one on the day.

The Rams’ singles play for the day was dominant with impressive match wins by all of the Rams’ singles play team members. Tyler Kowalk, Ryan Korlewitz, Luke Van Fleet and Mark Vietengruber (#1, #2, #3 and #4 singles, respectively) all kept that focus and competitive edge throughout the day, each scoring impressive wins against some tough competition. Kowalk, Korlewitz and Van Fleet all went undefeated in their three matches, finishing as “flight champions” at their seeding. Vietengruber also scored impressive points on the day by finishing runner up to the champion in his flight.

Equally as dominant were the doubles teams of Cade VanRooyen and Thomas Hall, Sam Dater and Gregg Witt, Zak Riebschleger and Ken Smith, and John Macgregor and John D’Amore (#1, #2, #3 and #4 doubles, respectively). These dynamic doubles pairs also kept the focus and competitive edge throughout the day that is necessary to finish strong. Each player on a doubles pair must work together with their teammate to maintain that competitive edge right up through the very last game, set and match of the day. All of the doubles teams finished with impressive wins in this tournament, scoring vital points and paving the way for the Rams to secure the overall team tournament victory.

The doubles teams of VanRooyen\Hall, Smith\Riebschleger and Macgregor\D’Amore went undefeated on the day, finishing as “flight champions” at their seedings. The Dater\Witt team also scored impressive points on the day by finishing runner up to the champion in their flight.

Overall, it was a very impressive and great team win for the Rams varsity netters.

The next home matches are at the Rockford High School tennis courts on Friday, Sept. 14 against Caledonia and Wednesday, Sept. 19 against East Kentwood, starting at 4 p.m. Come on out to see some competitive tennis play and root for the home team. Stay tuned for more RHS boys varsity tennis news here as the season progresses.

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