The Boonville Pirates tennis couldn’t have planned Wednesday’s outcome any better against the Kirksville Tigers.
After having just beaten Columbia Independent on Tuesday 9-0, the Pirate netters new the match against Kirksville could be for all the marbles in the NCMC.
As it turned out, Boonville was more than ready for the match by recording wins in five out of six singles matches and four out of six doubles matches for a 9-3 victory.
“This was a big win for us,” said Boonville Pirates tennis coach Stephanie Green. “We knew going in that it was going to be a tough match and we had to be better mentally prepared than we were against Fulton. It definitely helped to be able to have some practice time on the courts instead of inside. The guys really came together and played at a higher level and showed themselves what they are capable of.”
The Pirates definitely left little doubt against Kirksville, that’s for sure.
Aside from the No. 1 position as Gio Strickland fell to Ruslan Pultz 10-1, the Pirate netters were perfect for the rest of the night in singles.
At No. 2 singles, Philip Udinyiwe defeated Bennett Hoshaw 10-7. At No. 3 singles, Joshua Udinyiwe beat Garrett Johnson 10-0. At No. 4 singles, Luke Rehagenu upended James Hendler 10-8. At No. 5 singles, Gabe Rumbaoa won 10-8 over Reza Hamidi. Meanwhile, at No. 6 singles, Kyle Chrisman defeated Charles Fraser 10-3.
Green said it's tough at the number one spot against players like Kirksville's number one, but Strickland came off the court feeling like he played a good, solid match against a tough opponent despite the loss.
“Philip Udinyiwe had to battle to hang onto a one game lead most of the match, but was able to make adjustments and break open after the 8-7 game,” Green said. “Rehagen has been working on some areas like serving and that definitely showed in both singles and doubles when he had far fewer double faults and was able to gain some confidence. We were very proud of Rumbaoa who was playing with a shoulder injury and struggling early on in the match, but once he stepped up his game and started moving into the net, he controlled the court.”
The Pirates were also dominant in doubles, winning at the No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 positions.
At No. 2 doubles, Strickland and Rehagen defeated Johnson and Hendler 10-8. At No. 3 doubles, Rumbaoa and Chrisman won 10-6 over Hamidi and Fraser. At No. 4 doubles, Josh Chrisman and Quin Gentry beat Pierce Miletich and Miles Krusniak 10-8. Meanwhile, at No. 5 doubles, Kurt Danner and Dylan Bennett upended the team of Ian Polovich and Domenic Terrell 11-9.
In other matches, the No. 1 team of Udinyiwe and Udinyiwe fell to the team of Pultz and Hoshaw 10-4. Meanwhile, at No. 6 doubles, Will Rehagen and Yannick Flier lost to Noah Walker and Luca Tornatore 10-2.
Green said as always, the doubles team knew they would have to have a strong doubles showing and it didn't let them down.
“Danner/Bennett needed this match and win to really step into their level of play and they were controlled and smart in executing,” Green said. “J.Chrisman/Gentry realized they get somewhat complacent about 5 games in and have to work to overcome that by moving to the ball better which they did tonight.”
In the JV match, Kirksville defeated Boonville 4-2.
Recording wins for Boonville were the No. 5 doubles team of Caleb Shay and Andrew Matteson 9-7 and the No. 6 team of Charlie Pumel and Lucas Ziegelbein 8-1.
In other matches, the No. 1 team of Ethan Van Dyke and Christian Kosnopfal fell in a tiebreaker 9-8 (7-3). At No. 2 doubles, the team of Josh Joiner and Lucas Ziegelbein lost 8-6. At No. 3 doubles, Phoenix Price and Charlie Pumel lost 8-1. Meanwhile, at No. 4 doubles, Andrew Pefferman and Dalton Pannell lost 8-4.
The Boonville Pirates tennis team had one of those matches where they could set the auto pilot on cruise Tuesday night while hosting Columbia Independent at the high school tennis courts.
While Columbia Independent brought only five players, the Pirate netters left little doubt from the first match on by recording wins in all seven singles matches and two doubles matches for a 9-0 victory.
Boonville tennis coach Stephanie Green said she is grateful CIS was willing to play extra matches so the players could gain some experience and court time as they needed to get back into the rhythm of playing before facing a tough Kirksville team Wednesday.
“We were able to work through some areas we've been struggling in like double faulting and timing issues with transitions on the court,” Green said. “All of our guys played very solidly after setting game plans. The Udinyiwes definitely moved better and more together in doubles than they did against Fulton and once Strickland/Rehagen relaxed and played the open court their confidence and skills showed through. Both of them also worked to remedy some inconsistency issues in their singles games as well. Both served much better after good warm ups. Getting Josh Chrisman and Quin Gentry some singles experience was a benefit to us as well. Both players moved well on the court and used good strategy to set up and put away points.”
In the only two doubles matches for the Pirates, the No. 1 team of Philip and Joshua Udinyiwe won easily against the team of Josh Cohen and Moritz Rosenthal by a score of 8-1. Meanwhile, at No. 2 doubles, Gio Strickland and Luke Rehagen defeated the team of Cameron Tuig and Wyatt Burks by a score of 8-3.
Boonville was also dominant in singles, with Strickland winning his match at No. 1 singles against Cohen 8-1. The wins continued to snowball after that, with Philip Udinyiwe prevailing or Rosenthal at the No. 2 spot 8-0. At No. 3 singles, Joshua Udinyiwe beat Tuig by the same identical score of 8-0. At No. 4 singles, Rehagen upended Burks by a score of 8-1. At No. 5 singles, Kyle Chrisman won 8-3 over Rosenthal. At No. 6 singles, Josh Chrisman ousted Tuig by a score of 8-1. Meanwhile, at No. 7 singles, Quin Gentry defeated Burks by a score of 8-3.