The Boonville Lady Pirates tennis team recorded wins in five out of the six singles matches and then came back with two wins in doubles to beat the Kirksville Lady Tigers 7-5 in the season opener Monday night at the high school tennis courts.
Boonville Lady Pirates tennis coach Stephanie Green said what a great way to start the season.
“In a competitive match, our experience with our seniors really helped pull us through,” Green said. “We were down 2-4 going into the bulk of our singles matches and those ladies stepped up, played consistently, at their levels and styles of play and were able to take wins with confidence.”
Boonville’s experience definitely paid off on Monday with all five seniors winning their matches in singles. At the No. 1 position, Jessica Leathers defeated Abby Kuttenkuler by a score of 10-6. Meanwhile, after an injury default at the No. 2 slot by Jordan Xufuris, Boonville came back with four straight wins at the 3, 4, 5 and 6 positions.
At No. 3 singles, Stephanie Kempf beat Kirksville’s Tabitha Dearon by a score of 10-3. At No. 4 singles, Ellie Monk won 10-4 over Olivia Halma. At No. 5 singles, Taylor Fisher prevailed over Vivan Phan 10-5. Meanwhile, at No. 6 singles, Paige Beran defeated Vanessa VanLaningham 10-2.
Green said Leathers at the one spot really helped pull up the level of competition for the Lady Pirates and she and Xufuris's doubles match set the pace for the veteran players.
“Kempf and Monk were steady, consistent and very strong in strategy and with their strokes in both singles and doubles,” Green said. “Fisher and Beran, coming off a season of playing doubles last year, really stepped into their own after some tough challenge matches against each other last week and it helped solidify their singles play. We still have to look at our match ups at 4 and 5 doubles to see who we need to pair up for the best of the team and each individual player, but with some experience and just court playing time, those younger players are going to develop very well. Kearns and Browning made a run at a comeback later in the match and that helped their confidence. Johnson and Floyd played a tight match and were mounting a good comeback as well.
“Rice and Brimer were close all the way through, lost a couple in a row and couldn't come back from the deficit late in the match. We were very impressed with our jv doubles teams - especially those who were playing against some higher seeded Kirksville players. Dorkins/Schrader played very solid and Koa/Byrne really controlled the court.”
Boonville also dominated the top two spots in doubles, with the No. 1 team of Leathers and Xufuris winning over Abby Kuttenkuler and Deacon 10-9. At No. 2 doubles, the team of Kempf and Monk won by a score of 10-1 over Christy Kuttenkuler and Halma.
The Lady Tigers dominated the rest of the matches in doubles by recording wins at the No. 3, 4, 5 and 6 doubles positions. At No. 3 doubles, the team of Fisher and Beran fell to the team of Phan and VanLaningham 10-8. At No. 4 doubles, Erin Kearns and Olivia Browning lost to the team of Krista Garth and Evie Presley 10-5. At No. 5 doubles, the team of Jameshia Johnson and Jessica Floyd dropped a 10-7 decision against Hannah Steele and Annaliese Novinger. Meanwhile, at No. 6 doubles, the team of Kamryn Rice and Bailey Brimer fell to the team of Kenzie Easley and Diana Heckert by a score of 10-8.
In the JV match, Kirksville recorded wins in four out of the six matches for a 4-2 victory.
Recording wins for Boonville were the No. 1 doubles team of Cidney Dorkins and Mabel Schrader over Catie Clark and Mikaela Schueter by a score of 6-0 and the No. 2 team of Dianna Koa and Emily Byrne over Catie Clark and Mikaela Schueter 6-1.
In other matches, Abbie Grizzle and Danielle Dillon fell to the team of Krista Garth and Kenzie Easley at the No. 3 position by a score of 6-4. At No. 4 doubles, Angela Bryant and Bayli Collins lost to the team of Hannah Steele and Diana Heckert 6-0. At No. 5 doubles, the team of Jessica Joiner and Mabel Schrader dropped a 6-1 decision against the team of Kenzie Easley and Catie Clark. Meanwhile, at No. 6 doubles, the team of Aarica Shay and Crystal Carey fell to the team of Kenzie Easley and Catie Clark 6-2.