Will host Priory today at high school tennis courts starting at 4 p.m.
With emotions running high Thursday during a Class 1 Sectional match against Helias Catholic at the high school tennis courts, the Boonville Pirates tennis team quietly and methodically went about business as usual by beating the Crusaders 5-2.
Although it took nearly 2 1/2 hours to play seven matches, the Pirates closed it out at No. 3 singles with senior Joshua Udinyiwe winning in three sets against Helias’ Cance Pool 6-4, 4-6 and 6-4 to claim the team victory.
The Pirates will host Priory in the quarterfinals today at the high school tennis courts starting at 4 p.m. Priory won its sectional match against St. Dominic 5-0.
The winner of today’s match will advance to the Final Four on Thursday, May 25th at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.
Boonville Pirates tennis coach Stephanie Green said she knew this would be a tough, intense match and it was.
“Our doubles teams really set the tone for the match with excellent play and getting that tight win from Stickland/Rehagen was huge,” Green said. “It just gave us the momentum we needed going into singles.”
But first with the three doubles matches. The No. 1 team of Philip and Joshua Udinyiwe went about business as usual by winning 8-3 over the team of Dalton Buschjost and Tristan Grawe. It was just two days earlier that Udiniywes lost in the sectional tournament for individual play in Mexico, losing in straight sets against Fulton.
The No. 2 doubles team of Gio Strickland and Luke Rehagen also picked up where they left off from Tuesday after placing third at individual sectionals by beating Helias’ Cance Pool and Jordan Roling in a tiebreaker 9-8 (7-5). Meanwhile, at No. 3 doubles, the team of Gabe Rumbaoa and Kyle Chrisman defeated the team of Seth Pezley and Jacob Cowley 8-2.
Now comes the interesting part. Up 3-0 after doubles, Boonville added to its win total in singles when Philip Udinyiwe upended Grawe at the No. 2 position in straight sets 6-3 and 6-4.
The Crusaders then picked up two wins at No. 4 and 5 singles, with Seth Pezley prevailing over Luke Rehagen 6-3, 6-4 and Jordan Roling beating Gabe Rumbaoa in two straight 6-3, 7-5.
Needing only one more win to closeout the match, No. 3 singles player Joshua Udinyiwe won the first set over Cance Pool 6-4 with Pool taking the second by the same identical score of 6-4. Meanwhile, after going to a third and deciding set, Udinyiwe managed to win over Pool by a score of 6-4 to claim the team victory.
Green said Philip Udinyiwe came out strong, confident and consistent with a good shift from doubles to singles mentality in his match.
“He stayed out in front in each set and finished strong putting us ahead 4-0,” Green said. “We were confident putting out Josh Udinyiwe and Kyle Chrisman at the same time, hoping one of them would give us that fifth win for the match. They were both into their third close sets with Chrisman up a game when Joshua Udinyiwe was able to open up to a 4-2 lead.
“He split the next two games to be up 5-3, then dropped another game, but at 5-4 was able to jump out to a 40-15 lead and forced an error for the win. Looking at the scores, it is evident our guys are tough players. Rehagen and Rumbaoa played really confident, competitive matches, too and just came up of the short end of the scoreboard, but we know we wouldn't be as strong without our entire team supporting and pulling each other up everyday.”