Pioneer boys mow down Keokuk 7-2
Rain and cold has yet to thwart the Pioneer boys’ tennis team, which often has found shelter from the weather at its indoor facilities this spring.
In fact, the Pioneers have been playing so well lately in the newly named Laurie and Lawrence Eyre Tennis Center, they might want to consider making it their new permanent home.
Once again forced indoors by Mother Nature on Thursday, the Pioneer boys improved their dual record to 5-0 — and 3-0 on their indoor courts — with a 7-2 victory over Keokuk in Fairfield. The home team rolled to victories in five of six singles matches to secure the dual victory early, then recorded two wins in doubles action for good measure.
“The Pioneers put together a strong performance to defeat Keokuk,” first-year head coach Steve Briggs said, adding he was most impressed by their No. 1 doubles victory. “The Pioneers’ team [of Sam Stickels and Solaris Nite] played their best match of the spring, soundly defeating a veteran Keokuk duo that finished fifth at the 2012 state tournament.”
Stickels, who also won soundly at No. 1 singles, and Solaris Nite only surrendered two games in the premier match vs. Keokuk’s Dan Williams and Gabe Vandenberg, eventually winning 6-1, 6-1.
Like usual, dominant performances dotted much of the rest of the lineup for the Maharishi School boys. Stickels beat Williams 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 singles, and Girindra Selleck jumped up to the No. 3 spot for an impressive 6-3, 6-3 win over Keokuk’s Chris Barclift. Surya Sawhney didn’t even give up a game at No. 5 and beat Kevin Clard 6-0, 6-0.
Chandre Morales, a freshman, fought off an inspired effort by Keokuk’s Drake Reiter at No. 4 to earn a 6-4, 7-5 victory. Teammate Avery Mullenneaux won big at No. 6, defeating Jacob Mitchell 6-3, 6-2.
Also victorious for the Pioneers was the No. 3 doubles team of Selleck and Sawhney. The duo started out slow in the first set and lost 6-1 before coming back to claim a 6-0 win in the second set and force a tiebreaker. The momentum seemed to carry Selleck and Sawhney into the tiebreaker, which they took 10-5.
The Pioneers are back in action Saturday at the Pella Invitational. The tournament is set to begin at 9 a.m.
MSAE vs. Keokuk
1. Stickels (MSAE) def. Williams (K) 6-2, 6-3
2. Vandenberg (K) def. Nite (MSAE) 6-4, 1-6 (10-8)
3. Selleck (MSAE) def. Barclift (K) 6-3, 6-3
4. Morales (MSAE) def. Reiter (K) 6-4, 7-5
5. Sawhney (MSAE) def. Clard (K) 6-0, 6-0
6. Mullenneaux (MSAE) def. Mitchell (K) 6-3, 6-2
1. Stickels/Nite (MSAE) def. Williams/Vandenberg (K) 6-1, 6-1
2. Barclift/Reiter (K) def. Mullenneaux/Fleshman (MSAE) 8-6
3. Selleck/Sawhney (MSAE) def. Clark/Mitchell (K) 1-6, 6-0 (10-5)