Pioneer boys bounce Iowa City West
In a classic “David vs. Goliath” matchup Tuesday, the Maharishi School boys’ tennis team pulled out a 6-3 win against defending Class 2A state champion Iowa City West on the Punj Tennis Center courts in Fairfield.
Maharishi School, the smallest school in the state to have a tennis program, outlasted a team made up of some of West’s top players with four victories in singles action and two dual-clinching wins in doubles play.
“Although Iowa City West’s top varsity players did not play, West’s lineup was still one of the strongest teams we will face this season,” said first-year head coach Steve Briggs.
With a 4-2 lead following singles play, the Pioneers secured the deciding Nos. 1 and 3 doubles matches, which were in doubt until the end.
In the No. 1 doubles match, Sam Stickels and Raphael Gelfand took the first set 6-3 before West’s top duo battled back to win the second set 7-6. In the fiercely contested final set tiebreaker, Stickels and Gelfand pulled off the win by a score of 10-8.
Also in doubles action, the Maharishi School duo of Girindra Selleck and Surya Sawhney fell behind 5-3 in the opening set before rallying to win in straight sets (7-5, 6-2).
In the opening singles matches, Stickels impressed in the premier match at No. 1. The sophomore overpowered West’s Ben Dellos from the start, claiming the first set 6-0 and cruising to a 6-2 win in the second set for the easy victory.
“Sam played a near flawless match, much to the delight of the home fans,” Briggs said.
Maharishi School also received singles wins at Nos. 4-6. Varsity newcomer Avery Mullenneaux took a 6-1, 6-4 victory over West’s Gill Phelps at No. 4. Surya Sawhney and Girindra Selleck earned straight sets victories in the final two spots, as well. Sawhney won 6-3, 6-3 and Selleck earned a 6-1, 6-2 win.
The Pioneers again play host to an Iowa City team when City High comes to town Thursday.