ROXANA — The Roxana boys' tennis team played host to the Marquette Catholic Explorers on Thursday before the rain came rolling in.
The Explorers took an 8-1 victory over the Shells in a nonconference match up. The Shells fell to 4-10 on the season with the loss, while Marquette improved to 6-5 with the win.
"We played a lot better today than we have our last three matches," Marquette head coach Mike Walters said. "I am proud of the guys and their improvements. As a whole, we played really well today. It's nice, they really needed a win today. We're still working on everything. We have plenty to work on, but there are improvements across the board. Learning to think a step ahead. Basically learning that you can chess match a tennis game."
Playing the best of three in singles, the Explorers made a clean sweep over the Shells. Doubles played pro-set with the Shells coming away with one win out of three pairs.
Marquette junior Nick Berkenbile cleaned up at the No. 1 spot over Roxana's D.W. Pirtle with a 6-0, 6-0 win.
The No. 2 slot was filled with Roxana's Gabe Kunz against Marquette's John Claywell. Claywell took the victory 6-4, 6-1.
Matt Meyers held down the No. 3 spot for the Shells, but fell 6-1, 6-0 to Marquette's Nick McCune.
Roxana senior Alec Revelle battled tough at No. 4, but fell short against Peter Wendle of the Explorers 6-4, 6-2.
"A trend we see is guys coming out for tennis for the first time in their senior year," Roxana head coach Stan Hunt said. "Guys like Alec Revelle for example. He's really athletic and he's doing really well. It's a shame we got him almost too late. He's raw, but he's getting it down. If we had him come out for tennis his freshman or sophomore year, he'd probably be one of our top players today. He's competitive out there. We have five seniors, three have never played before."
Marquette's Tom Morrissey was pushed into a tiebreaker set with Roxana's Kyle Dewerff in the fifth position. Morrissey survived with the 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 victory.
Alex Cousley prevailed over Roxana's Trustin Dunse 6-3, 6-1 at No. 6 for the Explorers to complete the sweep in singles action for Marquette.
"We're not losing anyone next year and that's good," Walters said. "That's one good thing about having a younger team, it gives them a little more time to develop against tougher competition."
The Explorers took two out of three sets in doubles with a win from Berkenbile and Claywell over Brandon Bailey and Michael Meilke with a final of 8-0. Kunz and Meyers fell to Nathan Segneri and Nathan Walters 8-2. The Shells only victory of the day was Revelle and Dewerff over Morrissey and Cousley 8-4 at No. 3 doubles.
The Shells will enjoy a few days off before matching up with the Hillsboro Hiltoppers on Monday at 4:30 p.m., a rescheduled South Central Conference match from May 2. The Explorers head to Hillsboro for a nonconference dual on Friday at 4:30 p.m.