Kelsey Gerlach and Carley Esser place first at No. 2 doubles

After a busy week of tennis, the Boonville Lady Pirates tennis team still had enough in its tank over the weekend to finish second in the Osage Tournament.
While finishing with a record of 2-1 in the tournament, the Lady Pirates fell to the Osage Indians 3-1 but then rallied to beat both Mexico and Richland by the scores of 3-1 and 4-0, respectively.
Boonville tennis coach Stephanie Green said the weather was beautiful and the girls played great which made this a successful tournament.
"We're proud of the girls' strength and perseverance in this tournament and think they've made strides in confidence that will continue to build through the rest of the season," Green said.
Of course the No. 2 doubles team of Kelsey Gerlach and Carley Esser couldn't have played any better while finishing first with a record of 3-0.
While beating the team of Mandee Reahr and Courtney Grasshoff of Osage in the opening round by a score of 8-6, the duo came back and beat the next-two teams of Kerri Ahrens of Julianne Wortmann of Mexico and the team of Jaimee Sasseen and Megan Hodges of Richland by the same identical scores of 8-5.
Green said Gerlach and Esser continue to grow both as player and as a doubles team.
"They made good strides in their aggressive net game today and in getting more comfortable with their strokes and on the court," Green said. "Those two know how to compete and measure risks. They are a strong team already as evidenced by their first place finish and they are only getting stronger with experience."
The No. 1 doubles team of Missy Richerson and Mary Stewart also had a strong tournament while finishing second with a record of 2-1.
After dropping a 8-0 decision in the opening round against the team of Monica Cisar and Hannah Bashore of Osage, Richerson and Stewart came back and beat the team of Aaliyah Shivers and Nutcha Pongsuae of Mexico by a score of 8-4. Meanwhile, in the third round, the duo defeated the team of Jenna Shelton and Rebekah Crossland of Richland 8-3.
"Richerson and Stewart went all out and played very well against some tougher teams made up of higher ranked players," Green said. "They have successful medaled in both tournaments so far this season as a doubles team. They just communicate and gel well on the court. Their added level of experience helps them overcome a lot of challenges physically and mentally on the court."
Boonville No. 2 singles player Amanda Cook also finished second in the tournament with a record of 2-1. Like Richerson and Stewart in doubles, Cook fell in the opening round against Liz Bashore of Osage 8-1 before battling back to beat both Nandita Thapar of Mexico and Haley Armstrong of Richland by the scores of 8-2 and 8-1, respectively.
"Cook played strong and aggressively all day," Green said. "However playing against Bashore was tough because they have such similar games. Cook capitalized on errors from her opponents all day and did a good job of playing her game instead of at their levels. Medaling gave her quite a confidence boost."
As for Boonville's No. 1 singles player Amy Shipman, she had a tougher time in the tournament while finishing with a record of 1-2.
Shipman's lone win of the tournament came in the final round against Richland's Chandra Ancell 8-2. In her other matches, Shipman fell to Ana Blacksher of Osage 8-6 and Caroline Finck of Mexico 8-4.
Green said Shipman started off a bit slow against Finck of Mexico and had she played that match like she played Blacksher of Osage, she would have been in good position to medal. "Her match against Blacksher was an exercise in self-discipline and Amy did an excellent job of capitalizing on errors and moving the ball," Green said.