Boonville Pirates tennis coach Stephanie Green can only hope that the Pirates get to finish what they’ve started for the 2020 season.
Although the Pirates have yet to play a match this season due to the coronavirus, Green knows that she returns the bulk of her lineup from the 2019 season after finishing 4-7 overall.
“We should be strong,” Green said. “We have a lot of experience coming back. We have our top three coming back, our No. 5 coming back, so we should be stronger than we were last year.”
With 25 suited out for the 2020 season, Boonville will return six starters and a total of 15 lettermen for the upcoming season.
As far as getting back on the court, Green said it would be very disappointing if the season was shutdown because the seniors have been working for this since they were freshmen.
“Our guys are taking this pandemic seriously and they know they have a responsibility to stay healthy,” Green said. “They have an academic responsibility to keep up on their school work while they are on this closure and they know what’s riding on it to when they come back. But it would be a heartbreaking thing for all of us if they don’t have a chance to finish the season.”
As it stands right now, Green said the Pirates will be strong with four of the top six singles players back from last year.
Senior Josh Chrisman will return at the No. 1 spot after finishing 1-9 last year. Green said although Chrisman took a big jump to get to the No. 1 position, he has developed a lot. “Josh has spent a lot of time developing,” Green said. “He will be our leader for sure.”
Also returning from last year is No. 2 singles player Quin Gentry, who finished 4-5 in 2019. Although Gentry and Chrisman also play the No. 1 spot in doubles, Green said she looks for the duo to continue the same this season.
Senior Will Rehagen will be back for another year the No. 3 position after sporting a record of 3-8 last spring.
Rounding out the singles spots for Boonville are sophomore Etienne Colleaux at the No. 4 spot, senior Aaron Witting at the No. 5 position and junior Tucker Kaiser at the No. 6 slot.
Green said the singles players push each other every day in practice they work at it. “I think we are more balanced now in singles and doubles play,” Green said. “We used to focus a lot on doubles play but our guys have gone out and made themselves pretty good singles players, too, especially since they have experience there.”
As for doubles, where the Pirates have been strong over the years, Chrisman and Gentry return at the No. 1 spot after finishing 11-3 last spring. While capturing the district title last year in doubles and advancing to the sectional tournament, Green said she looks for e repeat from the two again this season.
“Depending on which route we take with district play, whether they play singles or doubles, I know they will be solid anywhere I put them,” Green said. “They have the experience having played for three years and they also have some good teammates to push them with the addition of Rehagen and Colleaux.”
Rehagen and Colleaux will round out the No. 2 position in doubles for Boonville while Witting and Kaiser will form a strong unit at the No. 3 slot.
Green said Witting and Kaiser played a little bit together in 2019. “Aaron usually played with Dalton Pannell, who graduated, but I noticed in practice that Aaron and Tucker seem to be working well together,” Green said. “We’ll be strong in doubles, and they that know if we can take those first-three matches in any match, that will increase our chances of winning the match overall.”
With no conference in tennis, Green said this team could as good as the team that qualified for the postseason several years ago.
“They’ve got the experience from playing with the guys, so they have seen that success and know what it takes to get there,” Green said. “They are very capable of being there again because they are solid and we have guys playing right behind them pushing them, too. Our 7-12 players are strong players, too, and they’ll come on.”