Long-time state power from Kansas City can't handle veteran CHS squad, which took two of three doubles sets and five of six singles at home Monday. Also-undefeated CHS golf girls win triple-dual. Soccer Hornets, volleyball Lady Hornets beaten in Sept. 10, 2018, action
Coincidental timing presented a significant challenge to the 2018 Chillicothe (Mo.) High School tennis Lady Hornets.
As they began this season with the opportunity to repeat as Midland Empire Conference champions, the replacement of departing Smithville – which did not have girls’ tennis – with Kansas City: St. Pius X as an MEC member meant the veteran Lady Hornets would need to best the 2018 squad of one of western Missouri’s premier small- and mid-sized school programs over the past several decades to have a realistic crack at repeat crowns.
With determination and talent, Amanda Marsh’s CHS emphatically met that challenge Monday (Sept. 10).
Hosting St. Pius X’s Lady Warriors at the Daryl Danner Memorial Park courts with a nice-sized turnout of fans on hand to view the conference showdown, the Lady Hornets lost only one doubles set and then only one singles set, posting a surprisingly-decisive 7-2 conference dual-match triumph.
The impressive win not only kept Chillicothe undefeated in dual matches on the season at 7-0, but raised their MEC mark to 4-0. Two of their remaining three league duals will be on their home courts. The first of those – against St. Joseph: Benton – is scheduled for tomorrow at 4 p.m. in CHS’ next action.
Elsewhere on Chillicothe High’s Monday sports menu, the similarly-veteran golf Lady Hornets also stayed undefeated in dual-match action this fall by topping host Cameron and St. Joseph’s Benton and Lafayette. Now 5-0 in duals, Chillicothe had at least a 21-strokes margin over all three foes.
On the pitch, the soccer Hornets were not as successful, slipping to 1-5 on the season with a first-round, 2-1 loss to Kansas City, Kan.: Sumner in group play in the Kansas City Cup tournament.
Monday’s CHS varsity-level play wrapped up with the volleyball Lady Hornets taking it on the chil 20-25, 13-25 at St. Joseph: Benton. That is believed to have been a non-conference outing. The spikers’ record dipped to 2-2 with a second-consecutive loss.
Tuesday’s Chillicothe High sports docket includes the softball Lady Hornets hosting Cameron at 4:30 p.m., the volleyball girls welcoming Carrollton at 5 p.m., and the soccer boys' second-round "group" match against Raytown: South at Van Horn HS' field in Independence, Mo.
Reports on those events will be posted on our www.chillicothenews.com website tonight once information is received.
CHS’ tennis Lady Hornets hoped their 2017 state-qualifying doubles team of Hunter Keithley and Hannah Cypert would get them off to a strong start against St. Pius X’s Lady Warriors – and it did with an 8-2 romp over Aramas Pernice and Katie Kallenbarger.
What really seemed to set in motion the eventual clear-cut conquest, however, was the performance of Macy Cavanah and Hannah Zimmerman in No. 3 doubles.
Not letting the state-heritage profile of St. Pius X intimidate them, the Chillicothe juniors dug in and took their set down to the 14th and final game with the outcome still there for either side’s taking.
Having earned a 7-6 edge to that point, the Zimmerman/Cavanah combo delivered the goods in the next game, winning the set 8-6, rather than going into the tennis equivalent of overtime.
Even though the Lady Hornets’ Reeter sisters – Gracy and Lucy – were being edged by the same 8-6 count in their tight No. 2 doubles set – a defeat that was CHS’ first in doubles competition so far in 2018, the win at No. 3 meant Chillicothe would carry an edge into singles play, where the Lady Hornets’ perceived balance in the top four positions figured to give them an edge.
It proved to be more than an edge on this day as, with the sets in the lower half of the lineup getting going first, the Lady Hornets soon established a grip on at least the minimum number of wins they’d need to claim victory.
Zimmerman set the tone, zooming out to a quick and growing lead in No. 5 singles.
As she strengthened her grip on the southwest “hill” court, on the north “hill” courts, Cypert at No. 3 and Cavanah at No. 4 were close behind in building solid leads in their sets – Cavanah winning the first six games of hers.
Zimmerman closed out her win 8-1 and, only about 5-10 minutes later, Cypert and Cavanah completed their own triumphs by that same tally almost simultaneously.
With that, Chillicothe’s match win was assured with the Lady Hornets on top 5-1.
However, that did not mean yet-to-be-finished sets were of no consequence, either technically or psychologically.
Although Chillicothe and the Kansas City school will be in separate district tournaments at regular-season’s end, Monday’s individual outcomes still figured to weigh heavily into the seeding determinations for the conference tournament in a couple of weeks.
With that in mind, even though their team already was victorious, G. Reeter and Keithley – CHS’ top two singles players – bore down even after getting off to slow starts in their singles sets.
G. Reeter trailed Annaliese Brogoto throughout the first seven games, but then closed with a rush, rallying from 3-4 to win 8-5. With it likely coach Marsh will enter her in singles for both the conference and district tournaments, the Lady Hornets senior’s triumph Monday might just make her the top seed for the league tourney and will help strengthen her case for a similar nod at district.
While G. Reeter managed to overtake Brogoto for the No. 1 singles win, Keithley steadied in her clash with lefthander Pernice too late to salvage the set. Down quickly by three games, the Lady Hornet could only split the last eight games and fell 5-8. It was her first loss – either in singles or doubles – of the season.
For good measure and adding to the impressive final score, freshman L. Reeter blanked her No. 6 singles opponent, meaning the Lady Hornets lost only one doubles set and one singles set against the vaunted, though clearly not as strong as in many years, Lady Warriors.
The golf Lady Hornets didn’t face the same caliber of opponents as their tennis counterparts did Monday, but the links ladies nevertheless played impressively and with growing confidence.
Senior Riley Brobst earned outright match medalist honors for the first time in her high school career after sharing the distinction with teammate Hallie Jones in a win over Trenton earlier this season.
In magnificent weather, Brobst – seemingly always at her best in competition, compared to practice performance – carded a 43 on the Cameron Veterans Memorial Golf Course to lead a Chillicothe sweep of the top three scores of the day.
One shot higher than her co-medalist showing against Trenton, Brobst on this occasion finished one stroke better than Jones and three shots in front of teammate Hannah Haakonstad, whose 46 was her best ever in competition.
Add in the season-best 50 shot by Maddie Lamp, a classmate of Lamp and Haakonstad, and Chillicothe ran away from all three opponents. CHS’ low-4 score of 183 – its best dual-match (9-holes) count in a number of years and 18 shots lower than it posted at the same course against the same teams a year ago – had it 21 shots ahead of Cameron’s 204, 31 up on Benton, and 41 better than Lafayette.
As a result, Chillicothe’s dual-matches record jumped from 2-0 to 5-0 in one afternoon.
Still playing from the No. 4 slot in the lineup despite easily having the team’s second-best scoring average in competition, Brobst’s big day included three parred holes – Nos. 3, 6, and 7, coach Bob Long reports.
Jones, likewise bettering her season average, only parred two holes – Nos. 5 and 9, but she did have the Lady Hornets’ only birdie on her very first hole.
Haakonstad, coming off her highest-scoring day of the season in last week’s Central Invitational tournament at St. Joseph, turned it around in a big, big way. Her 46 was the equivalent of a 27-strokes improvement from that tournament and was just over 10 strokes below her early season average.
Lamp likewise tightened up her game. Her 50 was five shots under her average and the equivalent of 14 fewer than she took in last week’s tourney at St. Joseph, an occasion when scoring conditions admittedly were much, much tougher.
Although her personal score was not needed for the team computation Monday, freshman Gabby Hapes’ second prep outing and first dual match saw her posted a respectable 55. That was a slightly-better equivalent score from what she had in Central’s tourney.
Chillicothe’s only other golfer this season – freshman Saige Angst – made her competitive debut at Cameron. She posted a 69
Chillicothe’s girls’ golfers, who bypassed playing against three smaller schools at home Monday to make up a rainout against the three Midland Empire Conference teams they faced at Cameron, next are slated for participation in the Smith-Cotton Invitational tourney at Sedalia next Monday.
CHS’ soccer Hornets accidentally directed a ball into their own net Monday, just as they had in a loss at Excelsior Springs last week. This time, the misfortune proved to be the difference between at least reaching overtime and losing.
Kansas City, Kan.: Sumner Academy, a state-caliber team in the Sunflower state, took the lead in the 16th minute when the Hornets touced a ball that ended up getting past their own goalkeeper, Daniel Hedrick.
Only four minutes later, German Castello of Sumner netted an unassisted tally past Hedrick to leave the Hornets in a 2-0 hole a quarter of the way through the match.
Rather than be disheartened or discouraged, the CHS boys pressed the attack and soon were within striking distance.
In the 22nd minute of the match and only a couple of minutes after Castello scored, freshman Chace Corbin of Chillicothe collected a pass from sophomore fellow forward Mason Baxter and bulged the net in the Sumner goal. With lots and lots of time left, the Hornets trailed only 2-1.
Ch. Corbin’s second goal of the season off Baxter’s first helper created a minuscule margin, but improbably Sumner made it stand up.
Actually, it was Hedrick’s goalkeeping that prevented the Kansas team from widening its skinny lead. The senior first-year starter turned back 14 Sumner shots on frame, while C. Corbin’s tally was the only time all match Chillicothe got a shot on goal.
“Another spirited effort by the Hornets against a very skilled and talented Kansas (Class 4) state-quarterfinals team,” Tim Cunningham, CHS head coach, reflected on the showing.
After facing Raytown: South last evening, the soccer Hornets conclude their “group C” play in the tournament today against Ruskin.
The volleyball Lady Hornets sustained their second defeat in a row, once more on the road.
Chillicothe gave St. Joseph: Benton a strong battle in the opening game, losing 20-25, but faded in the second game and lost it by over twice that margin.
Statistics reflect an inability of the Lady Hornets to mount an effective net offense. CHS had only eight “kills” (spikes) in the match and had half that number of errors (kill tries going out of bounds or not making it across the net).
As a by-product of that, Chillicothe only produced six assists, four by primary setter Elli Ross.
The Lady Hornets’ floor defense was led by libero Kylie Larson with seven “digs.” CHS did not block any Benton spike attempts.
Next up for the Chillicothe spikers will be a conference match Thursday at defending Class 1 state champion St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond. CHS currently is 0-1 in the conference.