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Athlete of the Week: First St. Michael the Archangel senior tennis players reach state tourney

Emily Rogge and Jenna Drake
Posted at 8:36 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 00:30:04-04

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo.  — For the first time in school history, St. Michael the Archangel qualified two tennis players for the Missouri Class State Girls Tennis Tournament.

“It feels like all the hard work that I’ve put into tennis these past four years have really just shown right here, so it’s really great," Emily Rogge, who qualified for the state doubles tournament with partner Jenna Drake, said.

Drake and Rogge, both seniors, play Friday in the state tourney's round of 16 at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield. The pair switched from laying volleyball to giving tennis a try after getting to high school.

“I started tennis three years ago," Drake said, "and I never thought I would make it this far."

Lady Guardians coach Steve Hirtzel said he's proud of the doubles duo's accomplishments individually, especially given how new they are to tennis. He's also pleased with how they've represented St. Michael.

“They’ve worked hard," Hirtzel said. "We put them together as a team early on and we saw early on they gelled and they played a very tough schedule."

With a win in the sectional round, Drake and Rogge would advance to the quarterfinals, which are also Friday. The semifinals and Missouri Class 1 championship match are scheduled for Saturday.

“I’m starting to get a little anxious about it, but I’m really excited," Drake said.