Boonville captures first in Lady Pirate Open, Neidig defends title
The Boonville Lady Pirates tennis team knew they were in the running for the title Saturday during the annual Lady Pirate Open at the high school tennis courts.
With Boonville’s top-two singles players Emma Neidig and Abigail Pannell capturing first in singles and the team of Kate Schneringer and Lilli Hendrix nabbing first at No. 2 doubles, head coach Melissa Harvey said she knew the score would be close with Moberly-last year’s champion.
As it turned out, Harvey was right as Boonville edge Moberly for the title 14-13. Osage finished third with 7 points, followed by Fulton 6 and Lexington 0.
Neidig, who gave up only two games all day long, finished 4-0 at No. 1 singles by beating Lexington 8-0, Osage 8-1, Moberly 8-1 and Fulton 8-0.
Harvey said Neidig was able to defend her championship title from last year. “She was mentally prepared to compete against her opponents,” Harvey said. “She has been working on making her first serve more consistent and that showed today in her matches. She kept her cool and stayed focused on getting the ball placed strategically and accurately.”
Neidig said she feels like she has improved on her mental game and serves as well.
As for Pannell, the senior netter also finished 4-0 by beating Lexington 8-0, Osage 8-4, Moberly 8-6 and Fulton 8-5.
Harvey said Pannell was dominant on the court. “Against Moberly, she lost her serve, dropping her two points behind,” Harvey said. “She was able to make adjustments to win two points in a row, putting her back on top. She also struggled in her last match against Fulton to follow through and finish points quickly, but she persevered and was able to finish to secure a first place victory.”
Pannell said she went into her matches more calm than usual and that seemed to help her have a more accurate form. “I would still like to work on hitting around my opponent,” Pannell said.
As for the No. 2 doubles team of Schneringer and Hendrix, the duo won all four matches as well by beating Fulton 8-4, Moberly 8-0, Osage 8-3 and Lexington 8-1.
Harvey said Schneringer and Hendrix were on top of their game on Saturday. “They’re proving to be a great doubles pair,” Harvey said. “Hendrix’s groundstrokes paired with Schneringer’s net play made them unstoppable today and secured a first place win.”
Schneringer and Hendrix said during the matches, they worked on their net play and really focused on ball placement.
As for the No. 1 doubles team Arji Webster and Alyssa Fitzgerald, the duo finished third in the tournament with a record of 2-2.
Webster and Fitzgerald won their first match of the tournament by beating Fulton in a tiebreak 9-8 (7-1) but then lost to Moberly 9-7. Meanwhile, after beating Osage 8-5, the duo came back and won 8-2 over Lexington to finish out the day.
Harvey said Webster and Fitzgerald started off strong by gaining a win against Fulton. “They played a tight match all the way until the end,” stated Harvey. “The tiebreak is where they gained momentum, winning 7-1. During their second match against Moberly, they were down in the beginning of the match and then came back to get on top, but were unable to continue winning points resulting in the loss. Even though they didn’t secure medals today, their two wins against Fulton and Lexington allowed the first place trophy to remain at home.”
Webster and Fitzgerald said they struggled at first, but once they warmed up they really played well. “Even when we struggled we still fought to continue to put points on the scorecard,” the duo said.
Harvey said sophomore Chloe Grizzle, the alternate for the day, was able to play a singles match with Moberly’s alternate player. She said this gave Grizzle a chance to work on her serve and get some extra playing time as well. “Chloe won 9-7,” Harvey said. “We thank her for coming out to watch and support our varsity players today; she’s a great teammate.”
Lady Pirates fall short against Marshall
The Boonville Lady Pirates tennis team fell short Thursday night at home against the Marshall Owls 5-4.
Despite the loss, which dropped Boonville to 3-2 on the season, head coach Melissa Harvey said the girls looked exceptionally great. “Even though we lost, it was our best match yet,” Harvey said. “The girls really stepped up to the plate mentally and physically. The varsity girls know the history we have with Marshall and knew that the competition was going to be tough. The coaches and I have been watching Marshall’s record and were able to give the girls some confidence knowing that they have lost to teams they would normally win over. Once the girls got into match play they realized that with consistency and accuracy on ball placement that they had a chance at winning.”
Boonville split six matches in singles with Marshall but dropped two out of three matches in doubles.
Recording wins in singles for Boonville were Emma Neidig over Alyson King 9-7; Kate Schneringer over Bailey Kueker 8-2; and Alyssa Fitzgerald over Fawna Maria Hopson 8-0. In other singles match, Abigail Pannell fell to Avery Evans 8-3; Arji Webster fell to Holly Hutson 8-3; and Lilly Hendrix fell to Alizah Russell 8-3.
In doubles, the team of Schneringer and Hendrix won over the team of Kueker and Alvarez Kaylen 9-7. In other doubles matches, Neidig and Webster fell to King and Evans 8-2 while the team of Pannell and Fitzgerald dropped a 8-6 decision against Hutson and Russell.
Boonville won all four matches in JV action. Recording wins were Chloe Grizzle and Emily Baker over Gabriela Umana and Bailey Riley 6-2; Georgie Hendrix and Abby Lang over Dianna Escarte and Lilly Klaassen 6-4, Paola Sanchez and Kaylee Casey over Michelle Lin and Kelly Rubio 6-1; and the team of Haylie Mendez and Bridget Puryear over Kaylee Guevara and Lauren King 6-0.