The Pioneers’ Tennis Season Ends

🎾Congratulations to the Pioneer boys and girls for a great season!🎾
 
The Pioneer girls had a record high number of players this year while the Pioneer boys team qualified for sub-state.
 

We hear from the tennis coaches of each team who comment on the conclusion of the season:

 
pioneer girls tennis team“Maharishi Girls team not only won the first 12 games of the year, but had never dropped two matches in the same contest. This included 5-0 wins in the regional tournament, one against Notre Dame and one against Davis County.
 
It was an impressive season for a Pioneer squad that had only played two seasons over the previous four years. Maharishi didn’t have the numbers for a tennis team in 2018, and the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
“I’m really proud of our girls’ improvement,” Eyre said.
“They’ve done such a great job,” Eyre said. “My hat is always going to be with these girls for sticking with it and inspiring others to do it.”
Eyre specifically mentioned the growth of his seniors. Out of the six varsity players, Fenton and Mohanraj were the only ones playing in their last season. Both were freshman on the 2019 team that brought girls tennis back to Maharishi.
 
tennis boys“Our team exceeded expectations this spring. The Pioneers went 8-2 and reached the final sixteen in the state tournament after finishing district runner-up behind 3 time defending state champions, Cedar Rapids Xavier.
 
The Pioneer’s top 2 players have only played for a year. Zak and Ruimin competed against some really skilled players and won their share of matches. I can’t think of another player in Iowa who developed as quickly as Zak and Ruimin. They worked really hard and their results are impressive. I expect big things from them next year.
 
The Pioneer’s only senior, Dominic DuPoux was 18-0 in dual meet competition before losing his final match against Boone. The team voted Dominic the MVP award for his consistency inmaharishi school tennis singles and doubles.
 
Jayanta Wegman, Polo Altynski-Ross, Chacho Rosler, and Mekhi Kahui all made significant strides and will form a strong nucleus for next year’s team.” -Coach Steve Briggs
A huge congratulations to all the teams, we look forward to seeing all that you accomplish in the world of tennis next year!

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Pioneers Defeat Mt Pleasant in Tournament on 5/12

boys tennisTennis Match Report by Coach Steve Briggs

It took nearly 5 hours to get it done, but the Pioneers prevailed against a tenacious Mt Pleasant squad to determine who would advance to the state tennis tournament.

Polo Altynski-Ross and Mekhi Kahui clinched the deciding match at #3 doubles. The singles matches were split evenly with 3 points apiece. Maharishi School earned points at #2, 5, and 6.

Freshman Ruimin Luo has been winning big matches lately. On the heels of a 3rd place district finish, Ruimin scored first for the Pioneers with a straight set win at #2. Dominic DuPoux followed with another straight set win to tie the match at 2-2.

“Chacho Roesler’s win was huge,” said Coach Briggs. “Chacho lost to Tim just 10 days ago  in the closest match of the season and today’s match was a xerox of their earlier encounter. This time Chacho came out on top.”

The Pioneer doubles teams were stronger than Mt Pleasant and a sweep of the doubles looked likely. Zak and Jay were winning 5-2 in the final set when the outcome of the match was decided.tennis pioneer boys

The Pioneers move on to the Sweet Sixteen against Boone, who is ranked #6 in the most recent Iowa coaches poll. The meet will be played in South Tama County Wednesday, May 18.

“Multiple heroes today,” commented Coach Briggs. “No way I can choose a player of the match although Chacho, Dominic, and Ruimin deserve recognition for their ‘locked in’ postseason play. The coaches are proud of every guy on the team. Win or lose, everyone fought for their teammates as did Mt Pleasant.”

Final Scores

Maharishi               def      Mt Pleasant.  5-3
#1 Zak Askar        lost        Owen Vansickel          1-6, 6-1, 6-4
#2 Ruimin Luo.   Def    Jake Ensminger.                 7-5, 6-4
#3 Jay Wegman  lost     Levi Graber                     6-4, 6-4
#4. Polo Altynski-Ross lost. Linc Hendrickson. 3-6. 6-3, 7-6 (5)
#5. Dominic DuPoux.     def     Elliot Cook             6-2, 6-3
#6 Chacho Roesler       def     Tim Cam         3-6, 6-2, 6-4

#1 Dominic/Ruimin       def      Owen/Jake              6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
#2 Zak/Jay              leading     Levi/Linc                   6-2, 4-6, 5-2
#3 Polo/Mekhi           def       Elliot/Tim                    3-6, 6-2, 6-3

 

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Pioneer Girl’s Regional Tennis 5/11

  pioneer girls tennisFinal Tennis Match Report from Lawrence Eyre

Hats off to Tess Paton of FHS for qualifying for the state singles tennis tournament for the second year in a row.

Maharishi School Pioneers are proud Lily Fenton finished strong after a semifinal loss to eventual champion Mary Rolfstad of Davenport Assumption. Lily captured 3rd place in the regional tournament. A state singles qualifier in 2021 Lily came up one match short this season.

tennis team iowa

 
The Valls sisters, Sara and Daira, finished 4th in the regional doubles tournament after reaching the semifinals with wins over teams from Keokuk and
 Burlington Notre Dame.
 
Coaches from all eight high schools were glad players got through a day of extreme heat and humidity without health emergencies. Here’s how one Coach summarized the surprise shift from cool, wet, windy spring to extreme summer weather:
 
For the record both
Days of spring in Iowa
Were lovely this year
We are so proud of our Pioneer Girls team and their consistent hard work and dedication to tennis is commendable. Congratulations on a great end to this season!

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Pioneer Tennis Player of the Tournament 5/9

Pioneer Player of the Tournament: Ruimin Luo

Pioneer freshman Ruimin Luo won 2 key matches for the Pioneers in district play today. His upset win over the tournament’s #3 seeded player from Assumption was fueled by firm resolve, some big time forehands, and plenty of hustle.

“Ruimin’s played all but one match at #1 this spring. There’s more pressure at 1 because every team has a strong player at the top. For a freshman who’s been playing less than a year to finish 3rd in district is unheard of. Most of the top players are upperclassmen who have been playing for 5 or 6 years… some much longer. I hope Ruimin

ruimin tennis

 appreciates how well he’s done in a very short period of time. I picked up a racket at age 6 and so I know what a huge advantage early training gives a player,” explained Coach Briggs.
Congratulations to Ruimin, the Pioneer Player of the Tournament. 
On May 12th the Pioneer Boys tennis team will play against Mt. Pleasant for the right to play in the Sub-state team tournament on Wednesday, May 18th. This game begins at 9 am until 4 pm tomorrow, May 12th. Good luck Pioneer Boys!

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Pioneer Girls Tennis Invitational 5/7

Tennis Coach Lawrence Eyre’s Match Report

tennis girls pioneersMaharishi School girls’ tennis came out on top in the Pioneer Invitational Saturday, a five-team event including Albia, Burlington Notre Dame, Centerville and Davis County.
Team Standings:
(In this round robin tournament, each game won = 1 point for the school)
1st Maharishi 103 points
2nd Albia 84 points
3rd Davis County 70 points
4th Centerville 34 points
5th Burlington Notre Dame 33 points
#1 singles flight winner:
Lily Fenton ,Maharishi
#2 singles flight winner:
Ishita Mukhadam, Maharishi
#1 doubles flight winners:
Vaisnavii Mohanraj and Bella Castle, Maharishi
#2 doubles flight winners:
A. Steuchel and A. Warning, Davis County
(Sisters Sara and Daira Valls of Maharishi finished 3rd)
“With this round robin format, everyone who enters gets to play four matches, win or lose. It was fun to see athletes from all five schools learning to adjust to different playing styles in real time while competing today. All of us coaches watched our players grow throughout the tournament.”
The Pioneers finish their regular season with a 6-0 dual match record and first place finishes in both the Fort Madison Invitational and the Pioneer Invitational. “I’m proud of our girls–they have steadily improved all season long.”
Wednesday, May 11 is the regional tournament hosted by Fairfield High School. Six Pioneers will compete with tennis players from seven other schools in southeast Iowa in singles or doubles for a place in the state tournament draw. In 2021 Lily Fenton became the first Maharishi School girls’ team player to qualify for the state singles tournament in a decade.
State singles and doubles will be May 27 and 28 at the University of Iowa tennis center.

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Pioneer Boys Ottumwa Invitational 5/7

Tennis Coach Steve Briggs Match Report

The Pioneers finished 2nd in the Ottumwa Invite. The host school won the tournament. 

 
The Pioneers collected silver medals in 7 of the 9 flights with Ruimin Luo, Polo Altynksi-Ross, Dominic DuPoux, and Chacho Roesler earning 2nd place in both singles and doubles. 
 

The Pioneer Player of the Match is Chacho Roesler who is redefining the word hustle for his team.

 
Ottumwa — 178
Maharishi School — 126
Oskaloosa — 92
Knoxville — 42
 
The Pioneers play in the district tournament on Monday. Both the Punj Center and FF MIddle School courts will be used for the tournament.

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Pioneers Outrun Greyhounds in 8-1 Win

Tennis Coach Steve Briggs Reports on the Match

In their final dual meet of the season, the Pioneers raced past undefeated Burlington, leaving the Greyhounds intennis boys the rear view mirror. Burlington had beaten every other area team (including Mt Pleasant twice), making the victory that much sweeter.

The win improved the Pioneers dual meet record to 7-1.
The team had a heart to heart talk yesterday and the boys responded with their best performance of the season.
“We talked about staying locked in and believing that there’s always a path to victory,” said Coach Briggs. “We talked about playing to our potential and dealing with adversity. Pressure is a fact of life in sports and today everyone dealt with it extremely well.”
One match in particular stood out: Pioneer #1, freshman Ruimin Luo overwhelmed Burlington’s undefeated #1, Tryce Barthlshofer, 7=6, 6-0. Tyce is widely regarded as the best player in Southeast Iowa.
“Few people expected Ruimin to win today,” acknowledged Briggs. “ has beaten several guys who beat Ruimin, but our guys know what Ruimin’s capable of. Today we witnessed a special performance. Ruimin was outstanding. He beat a skilled and confident opponent.”
Ruimin has the talent to be a top tier player in Iowa. Considering he’s a freshman who has been playing less than a year, his ceiling is high.”
Ruimin Luo is the Pioneer Player of the Match
Special recognition goes to senior stalwart, Dominic DuPoux, who finished the season with a perfect 16-0 record in dual meets. Congrats to Dominic for his steady play all season long and for his willingness to sacrifice for the team. 
 
Jayanta, Polo, and Chacho also played some of their best tennis today, lifting the Pioneers to a 5-1 lead after singles.
 
The Pioneers are back in action at FF Middle School on Saturday.

#1 Ruimin defeated Barthlshofer.  7-6 (5), 6-0

#2 Jayanta defeated Bleisnner. 6-4, 5-7, 10-7
#3 Polo defeated Ford   7-5, 6-3
#4 Dominic defeated Carlson. 7-5, 6-1
#5. Chacho defeated Mason. 6-3, 6-1
#6. Mekhi lost to Fawcett. 6-4, 4-6, 10-7
#1. Ruimin/Dominic defeated Mason/Fawcett. 6-3
#2. Polo/Jayanta defeated Ford/Carlson. 8-4
#3. Mekhi/Chacho won by default

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Maharishi Girls’ Tennis 9 Burlington Notre Dame 0

Tennis Coach Lawrence Match Report

The Pioneers upped their season record to 6-0 with a 9-0 win over Burlington Notre Dame that was also a race against the rain. “There was a sense of urgency for both teams today–we barely finished our matches before the clouds opened.”
Bella Castle sparkled with an 8-0 victory at #4 singles, and she teamed up with Vaisnavii Mohanraj for an 8-1 win at #2 doubles.
Maharishi will host the Pioneer Invitational this Saturday, with round robin play in two singles flights and two doubles draws.  Albia, Centerville, Davis County and Burlington Notre Dame will be joining the Pioneers at the Punj Tennis Center outdoors for match play starting at 9 am.

 Singles Results

Po.MatchupSet 1Set 2Set 3Result
1 Elizabeth Hamma vs.  Lily Fenton8-1winner-team-logo 1-0
2 Ashi Pennaka vs.  Ishita Mukadam8-0winner-team-logo 1-0
3 Isabella Blaufuss vs.  Vaisnavii Mohanraj8-4winner-team-logo 1-0
4 Shona Andersen vs.  Isabella Castle8-0winner-team-logo 1-0
5 Jasmine Jong vs.  Saraswati Quevedo-Valls8-2winner-team-logo 1-0
6 Chloe Diewold vs.  Daira Valls Blazquez8-2winner-team-logo 1-0

 Doubles Results

Po.MatchupSet 1Set 2Set 3Result
1 Elizabeth Hamma/Ashi Pennaka vs.  Lily Fenton/Ishita Mukadam8-1winner-team-logo 1-0
2 Isabella Blaufuss/Shona Andersen vs.  Isabella Castle/Vaisnavii Mohanraj8-1winner-team-logo 1-0
3 Jasmine Jong/Chloe Diewold vs.  Saraswati Quevedo-Valls/Daira Valls Blazquez8-3winner-team-logo 1-0

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Mt Pleasant Defeats Pioneers Boys Tennis Team 6-3

Tennis Coach Steve Briggs Reports

When Friday’s showers soaked Mt Pleasant’s East Lake courts,the Pioneers were handed home court advantage (at the MIU Rec Center). Unfortunately, the Pioneers were unable to capitalize, falling to a determined Mt Pleasant team.

maharishi school boys tennis
The Pioneers were looking for answers in the wrong places. Again and again the PIoneers could be seen rehearsing their strokes, swinging rackets at the air.
“What needed fixing wasn’t technical. It was our mindset,” explained Coach Briggs. “Until we understand that we need to be locked in on every point, we’re vulnerable. That’s on the coaching staff. You don’t learn how to scramble after every ball playing video games and so those of us who didn’t grow up with a screen in our hand need to teach better.”
The Pioneers lost 4 matches by the closest of margins — reversing half those results would have swung the match in favor of the Pioneers.
“We had sizable leads in several matches, but sometimes getting to the finish line isn’t so easy,” said Briggs. “We need to play our best tennis at the end of the match when it matters most; not just in the early going.”
One Pioneer who played with determination from start to finish was Dominic DuPoux, who won both his singles and doubles (with Ruimin Luo) matches without losing a set. Dominic efficiently took care of business, securing 2 wins for the Pioneers.
 
Dominic DuPoux is the Pioneer Player of the Match for a 2nd time.
Said Briggs: “After the match, Coach Rodgers (Mt P coach for the past 10 years) said, ‘Finally, I can cross beating Maharishi off my bucket list.”
Perseverance paid off for Coach Rodgers; a lesson the Pioneers are still learning.
The Pioneers play a strong Burlington squad at the Punj Center on Tuesday.
Injury report: Pioneer #1 Zak Askar’s Achilles is making progress and we hope to have Zak back on court for postseason play.
Singles
#1. Ruimin Luo lost to Own Vansickel.   4-6, 6-2, 10-6
#2 Jayanta Wegman lost to Jake Ensminger 6-1, 6-1
#3 Polo Altynski-Ross lost to Levi Graber 2-6, 7-5, 10-8
#4 Dominic DuPoux defeated Linc Hendrickson 6-2, 6-4
#5 Mekhi Kahui lost to Elliot Cook.  6-4, 6-4
#6 Chacho Roestler lost to Tim Cam 6-2, 3-6, 13-11
Doubles
#1 & 4. Defeated 1 & 2   6-4, 6-3
#2 & 3. Lost to  3 & 4.   8-6
#5 & 6 defeated  5 & 6.  9-7

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Pioneers Boys Defeat Keokuk — 8-1

Tennis Coach Steve Briggs Reports

The Maharishi Pioneers boys tennis team won convincingly against Keokuk, extending their record to 6-0 for the season.maharishi school tennis

The only loss the Pioneers suffered was due to injury. Playing his first match at #1, Zak Askar injured his ankle at the end of the opening set, which he lost 7-5 to Spanish exchange student, Ivan Lopex. The Keokuk #1 is one of the best players in Southeast Iowa. The extent of Zak’s injury isn’t known, but we hope he’s back on court soon.
#1 doubles provided plenty of excitement. With Zak watching from the bleachers, Polo and Jayanta moved into #1 doubles slot where they faced Lopez and Worster. At 7-7, the Pioneer duo lifted their play to seal the win 9-7. Polo served a strong game at 7 all and came up with the shot of the match in the final game to help secure the win.
“As a coach I pay attention to how the boys handle pressure. Pressure is a fact of life in every sport and the boys are getting familiar with the challenging thoughts and emotions that surface in a close match,” explained Coach Briggs. “Conquering the nerves is a major step toward becoming a top level player.”

Congratulations to Polo Altynski-Ross for being selected as Pioneer Player of the Match. 

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