(Updated Oct. 7, 12 a.m., with identity of Cavanah's sectional opponent) Doubles players Hunter Keithley and Hannah Cypert and singles player Macy Cavanah finished second in their respective modes of play in Friday's district tournament. Win at St. Joseph this Monday would advance one or both to non-team state tournament
MARSHALL, Mo. — Three Chillicothe HS tennis players – one playing singles, the others in doubles – extended their 2018 seasons Friday (Oct. 5, 2018) with runnerup finishes in the Class 1 District 15 non-team tournament.
By placing in the top two in their respective modes of play at district, senior Hannah Cypert and juniors Hunter Keithley and Macy Cavanah earned the right to play this coming Monday afternoon (Oct. 8) in state-tournament-qualifying sectional matches at St. Joseph’s Noyes Tennis Center. A victory there by the Keithley/Cypert doubles team (unofficially 23-2 in 2018 with one result unknown) and/or Cavanah (unofficially20-4 with one result unknown) in singles would give that/those winner(s) a trip to non-team state play the following week. Cypert and Keithley went to state in doubles last year.
As the No. 2 finishers in their district, the CHS players will be matched against the champions of District 16 Monday.
In Cavanah's case, the C-T has learned she will take on Jocelyn Kallauner of Savannah. When Chillicothe and Savannah had their only regular-season dual match, Kallauner was playing the No. 1 position and Cavanah No. 4, so they did not face each other. In the Midland Empire Conference Championships, in which Kallauner was seeded second and Cavanah third, the Savannah player was upset by a Kansas City: St. Pius X player in the very first round and ended up fifth. Cavanah went on to take second, topping that same St. Pius X player 8-3 in the semifinals, so the Cavanah-Kallauner clash rates as probably, at worst for the Lady Hornet, a toss-up she has a reasonable chance of winning.
MEC Tournament champions Keithley/Cypert figure as favorites at sectional, given that whoever came out of District 16 – which had only Trenton and MEC schools in it – as the champions are players they either have beaten during the regular season or finished ahead of during the conference tourney.
The Cypert/Keithley combo was, according to CHS coach Amanda Marsh, the No. 2 seed, as expected, for the tourney action at Marshall High School’s courts Friday. That gave them a first-round bye.
In their initial action, the Lady Hornets bested Moberly's Morgan McCall/Payton Wandry duo (score not available) to reach the semifinals.
With qualification for sectional play at stake, Cypert/Keithley handled Kirksville’s Christine Kuttenkuller/Olivia Halma tandem for a third time in as many meetings (score not reported).
That set up the expected rematch for the district championship with Marshall's Margaret Sherman and Hannah Pomerenke, also a third-time meeting for 2018. Just as in the first two clashes, it was the host Lady Owls’ combo coming out with the triumph (score not reported), giving them the district title.
Cavanah was the second seed in the singles behind powerful Marshall's top player, Carlie Aldredge. As in the doubles, that meant a first-round bye for Cavanah and a physical advantage over future opponents as the day went on.
Debuting in the second round against Carrollton's Sara Bailey, Cavanah won (score not available), moving her within one win of sectional.
She got that semifinals win at the expense of a familiar foe, Katherine “KK” Elfrink, Marshall’s No. 4 singles player and daughter of CHS alumnus Melanie (Eden) Elfrink.
The two had begun competition against each other twice before this fall without ever playing to a true finish. In their teams’ Sept. 24 dual match, Cavanah had an 8-3 lead in games (playing to 10) when she became ill and could not continue, giving the victory to Elfrink by defaut. Then, this past Wednesday, they were tangling again during the team district tournament finals when Marshall completed a sufficient number of position wins in other matches to clinch victory. That caused all other matches to be stopped immediately, again leaving Cavanah and Elfrink only partially finished (the in-progress score was not reported by coach Marsh).
This time, though, there had to be a true outcome, even if weather intervened and caused a delay or suspension until the next day.
Perhaps fitttingly, then, the battle to extend one’s season went three sets with Cavanah capturing the decisive set and assuring herself a sectional berth. Again the score of the match was not reported, so whether the Lady Hornet won the opening and closing sets or had to rally from a set down cannot be related here.
The Chillicothe player – perhaps due to fatigue from the full-length battle with Elfrink – then defaulted to Aldredge in the championship round.
While Cypert, Cavanah, and Keithley have more 2018 play ahead of them, the outstanding seasons of Gracy Reeter, Lucy Reeter, and Hannah Zimmerman of Chillicothe’s Midland Empire Conference team champions drew to a close.
Entered in doubles, the Reeter sisters won the first round against Brooke Coleman/Olivia Browning from Boonville (score not reported) before falling in the second round to Molly Greene/Madeline Meystrick from Moberly (score not reported). That eliminated the second CHS doubles entry.
Zimmerman was ousted quickly, losing to Noelle Mputu of Kirksville in the first round (scores not reported).