After playing two of the best teams in mid-Missouri to open the 2016 season, the Boonville Pirates tennis team finally caught a break Tuesday at home against the Moberly Spartans.
While the Spartans came into the match with high hopes, the Pirates quickly quelled any thoughts of a win by recording wins in five singles matches and four doubles matches for a 9-3 victory.
Boonville Pirates tennis coach Stephanie Green said it was really a confidence boost to get this first win under their belts.
“We finally have our line up filled and fortunately have a lot of competitive players, so that makes each day better for us as individuals and as a team,” Green said. “Even though we didn't exactly ahve the outcomes in the doubles areas we wanted, our singles looked strong. Our top three got out in front and singles and really broke open at about five games into each match. J. Udinyiwe, Strickland, and P. Udinyiwe showed excellent shot selection and their athleticism was evident. Vivas was always in the lead, let down a little mid match but used good strategy and finished strong. Rehagen battled back to 8-9 and was on his way to overcoming the deficit, but couldn't quite get that last deuce point to tie. He still played more confidently and with toughness. Burns had a rough start to the match fighting some back pain, but really buckled down and focused, played smart points and minimized his errors to get through for the win.”
The Pirates never let up against the Spartans while winning the first-four matches by a combined score of 40-17.
At No. 1 singles, junior Joshua Udinyiwe picked up both his first win overall and in the conference by beating Moberly’s Christopher Armstrong 10-4.
Junior Gio Strickland also prevailed for his first match of the season at the No. 2 slot by turning back Gerardo Arteaga 10-3. Meanwhile, in his first match back since an early season injury, junior Philip Udinyiwe won easily over Kyle Lewis by a score of 10-2. Then, to complete the run of four straight wins, senior Cristian Vivas edged Alex Fincher in a close match by a score of 10-8.
Moberly won its first match at No. 5 singles with Alex Redding prevailing over Luke Rehagen 10-8.
But even that was short-lived as Christian Burns came back to beat Marcos Lopez 10-4 at the No. 6 position.
The Pirates also kept the pressure on in doubles, with the No. 1 team of Udinyiwe and Udinyiwe winning 10-4 over the team of Armstrong and Lewis.
However, at the No. 2 and 3 doubles position, Moberly picked up two more wins to cut the team lead in half at 6-3. At No. 2 doubles, the team of Arteaga and Reeding won 10-7 over Strickland and Vivas. Meanwhile, at No. 3 doubles, the team of Fincher and Devin Moutray defeated the team of Burns and Weaver 10-6.
Boonville dominated the rest of the matches in doubles, with the No. 4 team of Rehagen and Gabe Rumbaoa winning over Lopez and Ricky Davidson 10-3. At No. 5 doubles, the team of Morgan Browning and Tyler Polk beat the team of Drake Forrest and Jonathan Brockm 10-6. Meanwhile, at No. 6 doubles, the team of Noah Kelley and Christian Kosnopfal beat the team of Carl Thomas and Joseph Langdon 10-4.
In JV doubles, Boonville recorded wins in four out of the six matches for the victory.
At No. 1 doubles, the team of Dylan Bennett and Landon Weaver prevailed over Carl Alexander and Hikaru Johnson 6-1. At No. 3 doubles, the team of Phoenix Price and Shelby Ashpaugh won 6-3 over Drake Forrest and Jonathan Brockm 6-3. At No. 4 doubles, the team of Caleb Shay and Dalton Pannell won 6-2 over Carl Thomas and Hikaru Johnson. At No. 5 doubles, the team of Dylan Bennett and Koby Abel defeated the team of Andrew Matteson and Charlie Pumel 6-0.
In other doubles matches, the No. 2 team of Josh Joiner and Ethan VanDyke fell to the team of Devin Moutray and Ricky Davidson 6-4. Meanwhile, at No. 6 doubles, the team of Andrew Matteson and Charlie Pumel fell to the team of Dylan Bennett and Koby Abel 6-0.
Green said it was good to see the strength and solid play of Rehagen/Rumbaoa, Browning/Polk, and Kelley/Kosnopfal in doubles and how well they meshed on the courts and played good points that were fun to watch.
“I was very impressed with our JV guys stepping up and playing a lot of the same teams the varsity played and playing hard to get wins,” Green said.