By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
Things were tougher in spots for the undefeated Chillicothe High School tennis Hornets as they hosted another Midland Empire Conference opponent Tuesday, but the end result remained the same.
The racquet Hornets now are four for four this season, having defeated each of their four foes to date by shutout, as they turned aside visiting St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond 9-0 at the Daryl Danner Memorial Park courts.
"A few of our singles players were pushed a little," observed CHS head coach Aaron Douglas.
"Wade (Dietz in No. 1 singles), Chase (Reeter at No. 2 singles), and Jerry (Applebury at No. 6 singles) had to overcome some challenging opponents and raise their game to another level. Grant (Peterson) and Johnson (Young) also had some difficulty winning No. 2 doubles, but our boys were relentless in their pursuit of another shutout.
"This is a truly special and unique team," the CHS coach continued. "They are not content simply winning, these boys want to dominate."
While, in team-score terms, the final score reflected CHS dominance, many of the set-by-set numbers were, by far, the closest in any Hornets match yet this spring.
Bishop LeBlond's Derek Gallagher had Reeter down 4-1 early, but the Chillicothe senior came back through many a long point and game to win nine of the last 11 and prevail 10-6.
The Golden Eagles' Nolan Nadolski kept Dietz well-tested from start to finish before succumbing, 10-6.
The closest set of the day was in No. 6 singles where another Chillicothe senior, Applebury, needed to win the first two games of the equivalent of overtime in the "pro-10" set-scoring format (first player to win 10 games with a 2-games lead wins the set) used yesterday before prevailing, 11-9, over Steven Meers.
"Jeremiah simply refuses to give up no matter what situation he's in," saluted Douglas.
With today's scheduled Excelsior Springs Tournament for the varsity pushed back a week or two, next on the tennis Hornets' docket is a home match with Trenton next Tuesday.