Record wins in 4 singles matches and all 6 doubles matches
The Boonville Lady Pirates tennis team literally put its best foot forward Tuesday night in its home opener against the Mexico Lady Bulldogs.
While dropping their season opener last week against the Kirksville Lady Tigers, Boonville came back Monday night by recording wins in four out of six singles matches and all six doubles matches for a 10-2 victory.
Boonville Lady Pirates tennis coach Stephanie Green said this was a great home-opening win against a conference opponent.
“Overall, the girls stepped up after getting off to a bit of a sluggish start in many matches and with our new doubles lineup, we accomplished what we were hoping the change would bring-a more solid and winning doubles lineup,” Green said.
Of course the night didn’t start well for the Lady Pirates, as No. 1 singles player Amy Shipman fell to Mexico’s Nandita Thapar 10-3.
While battling a foot injury for most of last season and now this year, Green said Shipman (1-1 overall and in the conference) struggled with a different pace game and wasn’t as consistent as usual in singles, but turned up the heat with Cook in doubles and set a good tone for the team.
As for junior Kelsey Gerlach, she made the most of the opportunity against Nutcha Pongsuea at the No. 2 position. While winning last week against Kirksville, Gerlach made it a perfect 2 for 2 by beating Pongsuea 10-8.
Green said Gerlach played out of rhythm as well but was able to compete and overcome challenges to stay ahead and put the match away.
Senior Carley Esser also had a tough night at the No. 3 slot while falling to Mexico’s Shyann Gordon 11-9. Green said Esser’s match was so close even in the end it was difficult to really tell who won despite the scorecard, but Carley made great strides in playing a different type of style.
As it turned out, the Lady Pirates were perfect for the rest of the night in both singles and doubles. At the No. 4 position, senior Amanda Cook won over Kerrie Ahrens by a score of 10-3. Freshman Jessica Leathers also prevailed over Emily Polacek by the same identical score of 10-3. Meanwhile, at the No. 6 position, senior Kelsie Williams defeated Paityn House 10-6.
Green said Cook was just solidly in control of the match after the first few games and was able to place and set up winning points. As for Leathers, Green said she continues to impress with her solid ability to make things go her way.
“I tell her to win two games and she goes out and does exactly that,” Green said. “I advise her to hit alley shots and she executes. As for Kelsie, she got her bearings, played on her strengths and used her opponent’s weaknesses to take command of the match after about five games.”
In doubles, Boonville controlled the matches from the start against Mexico. At the No. 1 position, Shipman and Cook defeated the team of Thapar and Pongsuea by a score of 10-5. At the No. 2 slot, Gerlach and Esser won by the score of 10-2 over Gordon and Ahrens. At the No. 3 spot, Leathers and Breanna Beran beat the team of Polacek and House 10-3. At the No. 4 position, Megan Roth and Kelsie Williams upended the team of Lana Lierheimer and Elizabeth Finck 10-3. At the No. 5 position, the team of Kristen Williams and Makayla Penney won by forfeit. Meanwhile, at the No. 6 position, the team of Stephanie Kempf and Jordan Xufuris defeated the team of Alexis Atkinson and Delanie Jones 10-1.
Green said in doubles the teams really showed their potential.
“For being the first match together at the 3 and 4 spots, Leathers/Beran and Kelsie Williams/Roth executed well and played good, smart points,” Green said. Kristen Williams/Makayla Penny made statements by sheer guts and will power and went out knowing they had already won the match via forfeit before they ever played, but they both played with heart and determination. Kempf/Xufuris really looked like a more seasoned team at the six spot despite it being the first time they had played together. We were proud of our play and ability to tune out distractions on a busy night at BHS.”
In JV action, Boonville won both matches against Mexico.
At No. 1 doubles, the team of Sabrina Elbert and Kelsey Redden defeated the team of Polacek and Kerr by a score of 9-8 (7-1). Meanwhile, at No. 2 doubles, the team of Jordan Xufuris and Susie Dains beat the team of Atkinson and Jones 8-6.