The Boonville Lady Pirates tennis team wanted a better finish Thursday night in the regular season finale against Sedalia Smith-Cotton.
With the district tournament starting on Monday, the Lady Pirates wanted nothing more than to send the seniors off with a win and pick up some momentum before districts.
Unfortunately for Boonville, they fell to Smith-Cotton by a score of 6-3.
The loss dropped Boonville to 6-4 on the season.
Boonville tennis coach Melissa Harvey said the outcome of Senior-Parent Night wasn’t exactly how the girls wanted to end the season but the score doesn’t reflect the effort the girls put into the match. “Even though we didn’t put a win on the score board, we gained experience playing skilled players.”
Smith-Cotton’s skilled players showed up in doubles as the Lady Tigers recorded wins in two out of three matches. The No. 3 team of Danielle Dillon and Molly Amos picked up the only win in doubles for Boonville by a score of 8-6. In other doubles matches, Abbie Grizzle and Emma Neidig fell by a score of 7-4. Meanwhile, at No. 2 doubles, the team of Kali Corbitt and Jessica Lammers dropped a 8-5 match score.
Harvey said Neidig put up a great fight, gaining four points against a strong doubles team. “They improved on their ball placement and stepped up their net play,” Harvey said. “Corbitt and Lammers had long with their opponents that often ended in deuce but unfortunately they were unable to turn over enough games to get on top of the score. Dillon and Amos were on the move during their match. Their opponents were equally matched and gave them a challenge that they were able to rise up to tonight.”
Smith-Cotton also dominated Boonville in singles by winning four out of six matches.
Boonville’s wins came at No. 5 and 6 singles, with Dillon prevailing by a score of 8-4 and Amos coming out on top 8-1. Amos’ win was also her ninth in 10 matches.
In other singles matches, Grizzle fell by a score of 8-0. At No. 2 singles, Neidig fell 8-1. At No. 3 singles, Corbitt fell 8-0. Meanwhile, at No. 4 singles, Lammers fell in a tiebreaker 9-8 (7-5).
Harvey said  in singles Grizzle had a hard loss to Matz, who had consistent shots.
“Abbie worked on movement of the ball so she could come into the net but had a hard time putting the shots away once she was in,” Harvey said. “Neidig worked on her split step and being prepared for the ball early during her match. Corbitt is still not feeling her best and that showed during her match. Although she wasn’t able to win any games, she did have several long points that just didn’t end in her favor. Lammers felt disappointed about not securing a win tonight, but there was nothing disappointing about her play. She was down 6-3 but changed up her strategy to win four games in a row. Unfortunately, her opponent was able to adjust to those changes, stopping Lammers winning stamina. Dillon also played a tough opponent that made her work for the ball. She was able to gain a win for her record with quick feet and great ending shots. Amos took the lead from the beginning of her match and kept it. Her consistency has helped her continue to add wins to her 9-1 record.”
Smith-Cotton also won the JV match 5-2.
Recording wins for Boonville was the No. 3 doubles team of Hendrix and Pannell by a score of 6-3 and the No. 5 team of Fitzgerald and Schneringer 6-2. In other matches, the No. 1 team of Kearns and James fell 7-5. At No. 2 doubles, the team of Widel and Waller lost 6-4. At No. 4 doubles, Webster and Martin lost 6-1. At No. 6 doubles, Mendez and Williamson lost 6-2. Meanwhile, at No. 7 doubles, Webster and Phelps lost 6-2.
Harvey said the JV doubles team of Hendrix and Pannell has stepped up their net play, which helped them finish several points in their favor. “Coach Espey said Fitzgerald and Schneringer had positive attitudes and good communication to help them gain their win,” Harvey said.