The Boonville Pirates tennis team had everything going its way while leading St. Dominic 4-1 with four matches to play Monday during team sectionals in Jefferson City.
Unfortunately for Boonville, they had no answer for St. Dominic for the rest of the match while dropping all four matches for a 5-4 loss.
Boonville closed out the season at 11-2 overall.
“While we certainly wanted to be in the round of 8, this match was so exciting and so hard fought between both teams,” said Boonville tennis coach Stephanie Green. “This loss is one we can handle. It made us better. We knew it would be a challenge going in and after getting halfway through doubles before the rain delay on Saturday, we knew we had to plan to go out and fight hard to close those matches with wins today. Our guys really left everything on the court today and finishing at 11-2 as a state qualifying team is certainly something we are very proud of and will continue to build from.”
For the No. 1 doubles team of Francesco Bona and Luke Rehagen, who qualified in the individual state tournament in doubles this Friday in Springfield, their postponed match from Saturday to Monday went from bad to worse. Down 1-6 in a 8 game set, the duo fell to the team of Josh Miller and Nathan Hellingenstein 8-3.
Green said Bona and Rehagen started strong but couldn’t quite get out of the hole despite their valiant effort.
Of course it was just the opposite for the No. 2 doubles team of Kyle Chrisman and Gabe Rumbaoa and the No. 3 team of Josh Chrisman and Quin Gentry.
Chrisman and Rumbaoa were tied 4-4 at the time of their suspended match but  came back to beat the team of Derek Fesser and Timothy Blechle 8-6. As for the team of Josh Chrisman and Gentry, they led 5-1 when their match was halted and ended up winning 8-2 over the team of Nathan Kamp and Theodore Pardee.
“Kyle and Gabe stepped into control quickly and even though they went game for game, they were in a good position at 7-6 with Rumbaoa serving and Chrisman at the net and were able to play some really strong points to finish with that win,” Green said. “Josh Chrisman and Gentry were in control Saturday at 5-1 and stepped right back onto that rhythm today to close their match quickly which allowed us to get them on the courts earlier for singles.”
Green said early on singles the Pirates looked strong at 1, 2, 5 and 6 but with the temperature rising and the sun coming out, the heat took some toll on the teams energy in mid matches and slowed momentum.
“Going into singles were up 2-1,” Green said. “Josh Chrisman and Gentry both ended their matches in two sets and put us up 4-1. Despite playing very hard, we couldn’t closeout any of the other singles matches even going into third sets at 1 and 4.”
To go up 4-1 after No. 5 and 6 singles, Josh Chrisman beat Kamp in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 while Gentry won in two over Gerard Meier III 6-4, 6-2.
But that’s where the winning stopped for Boonville and started for St. Dominic as the Crusaders rallied back with four straight wins for the come from behind victory.
At No. 1 singles, Bona fell in three sets against Miller 6-2, 2-6 and 3-6. At No. 2 singles, Kyle Chrisman dropped two straight against Helligenstein 6-4, 6-3. At No. 3 singles, Luke Rehagen fell in two against Fesser 6-0, 6-1. Meanwhile, at No. 4 singles, Rumbaoa lost in three sets against Blechie 0-6, 6-1 and 4-6.
Green said Bona, Kyle Chrisman and Rumbaoa all played intensely close matches that could have gone either way point by point with almost every game ending at deuce and even though Rehagen struggled in the first set, he was playing much more strongly in the second.