Pioneer boys’ tennis blanks Notre Dame
It was business as usual for the Maharishi School boys’ tennis team Tuesday as it kicked off the 2013 season with a 9-0 sweep of visiting Burlington Notre Dame at the M.U.M. indoor courts.
“Maharishi School got their season off to a strong start,” said new head coach Steve Briggs, who replaced longtime coach Lawrence Eyre at the helm this offseason.
A “strong start” might have been an understatement. The Pioneers not only won every set against Notre Dame, but the host team only dropped five of the 97 games played.
The Pioneers’ No. 2-6 singles players all earned 6-0, 6-0 sweeps. Winners included Raphael Gelfand at No. 2 and Solaris Nite at No. 3 singles. No. 4 Chandre Morales, No. 5 Avery Mullenneaux and No. 6 Surya Sawhney also claimed two set sweeps.
The Pioneers’ No. 1 player, sophomore Sam Stickels, also won his match handily, but not without a little bit of drama first. Stickels fell behind 3-0 in the first set, but then reeled off nine straight games in the match for a 6-3, 6-0 victory. Stickels’ opponents, Sai Senaha, is a foreign exchange student from Japan.
“Sai Senaha tested Sam with a barrage of powerful forehands, but Stickels weathered the onslaught,” said Briggs.
The singles matches set the tone for the rest of the meet, as the Pioneers only lost two games combined in their three doubles matches.
Gelfand and Nite took down Notre Dame’s No. 1 doubles team 6-0, 6-0, while Morales and Sawhney won 8-0 at No. 2 doubles. Maharishi School’s No. 3 doubles duo of Daniel Pirc and Girindra Selleck earned an 8-2 win.
The Pioneers are now 1-0 and continue their season Saturday at the Warrior Invitational in Cedar Rapids.