Pioneer boys blast Fairfield
Sam Stickels eked out a two-set victory over rival Alexander Punj of Fairfield, and the Pioneer boys cruised to victories in the other five singles matches Monday to take an 8-1 meet win over their rivals at the M.U.M. recreation center.
The match between Stickels and Punj at No. 1 singles came as advertised and nearly came down to a third set before the Pioneer sophomore pulled it out. Stickels maintained an advantage in the first set and won 6-3, but Punj fought back in the second set to force a tiebreaker. Stickels kept his focus, however, holding on for a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win.
“The rivalry between Sam and [Alexander] is the best in the area, and the two top players in southeast Iowa will likely compete for the district title in May,” Maharishi School head coach Steve Briggs said following the match. Briggs coached Punj last spring as an FHS assistant before moving over to his current position on the Pioneers.
The rest of the matches went fairly quickly. Chandre Morales picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win against Fairfield’s Josh Alonso at No. 2. Avery Mullenneaux, Surya Sawhney, Girindra Selleck and Daniel Pirc all earned 6-0, 6-0 wins for the Pioneers.
Fairfield earned its only win at No. 1 doubles, where Punj and Alonso toughed out an 8-6 win over Sawhney and Selleck. Mullenneaux and Pirc handed Maharishi School a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 2 doubles, and David Fleshman and David Wadsworth also won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 doubles.
With the meet win, the Pioneers improved to 4-0 in duals. Fairfield, meanwhile, is still in search of its first win and sits at 0-5 overall.
Fairfield hosts Fort Madison today. Maharishi School welcomes Keokuk on Thursday.
Fairfield @ MSAE
1. Stickels (MSAE) def. Punj (FF) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
2. Morales (MSAE) def. Alonso (FF) 6-0, 6-1
3. Mullenneaux (MSAE) def. Greiner (FF) 6-0, 6-0
4. Sawhney (MSAE) def. Nicely (FF) 6-0, 6-0
5. Selleck (MSAE) def. Haile (FF) 6-0, 6-0
6. Pirc (MSAE) def. Wood (FF) 6-0, 6-0
1. Punj/Alonso (FF) def. Sawhney/Selleck (MSAE) 8-6
2. Mullenneaux/Pirc (MSAE) def. Greiner/Nicely (FF) 6-0, 6-1
3. Fleshman/Wadsworth (MSAE) def. Haile/Wood (FF) 6-1, 6-1