Hunter Keithley/Hannah Cypert doubles team bested Savannah foes in straight sets in sectional play Monday (Oct. 8, 2018), earning them a second-straight trip to the Class 1 state tournament. CHS teammate Cavanah downed in sectional singles
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Neither Chillicothe nor Savannah got all it wanted out of Monday’s Class 1 state-qualifying sectional girls’ tennis matches. Neither left the Noyes Tennis Center empty-handed either.
With players from both schools clashing both in singles and doubles for the right to advance to the Oct. 19-20 state tournament at Springfield, Chillicothe’s Hunter Keithley and Hannah Cypert earned a second-consecutive appearance in the state doubles tournament with a 6-3, 6-0 triumph over Savannah’s Lauren Stafford and Lauren Bailey, while SHS’ Jocelyn Killauner posted a straight-sets win of her own – 7-6, 6-1 – over CHS’ Macy Cavanah.
Both Savannah sectional qualifiers had won their respective divisions of the District 16 Tournament last week, while the Lady Hornets competing had taken second in District 15. However, the Cypert/Keithley combination had projected as the more likely survivor of the doubles action, having defeated Stafford/Bailey 8-2 in an early-season dual match and having taken the Midland Empire Conference Championships doubles title. The Savannah pair had earned fourth at conference.
While Monday’s first set between them was relatively competitive, once the CHS tandem bagged it, the starch went out of the Lady Savages’ upset bid.
When senior Cypert and junior Keithley completed the second-set shutout for, unofficially, their 24th win in 27 matches (with one result unknown), they officially were headed back to Springfield’s Cooper Tennis Complex, certainly hopeful of a longer stay than in 2017. With both underclasswomen and state-play neophytes a year ago, they were bested in each of their first two matches and sent packing having won only five of 29 games.
Cavanah, another junior, got her first taste of post-district play and was very close to putting the pressure on Killauner to come back from a set down in the best-of-3-sets match.
However, with the opening set going to a tiebreaker, it was the Savannah player, who lost to CHS’ veteran No. 1 singles player Gracy Reeter 8-3 back in the first week of the season and finished behind Cavanah during the MEC Championships, who came up big.
She won the tiebreaker (score not reported) to win the set and, as in the doubles, that, psychologically, tilted the match heavily her way.
In sharp contrast to the tightly-contested opening set, Killauner had almost all the right answers at the right times in the second, winning it in only seven games to punch her state ticket and end Cavannah’s outstanding season with a 20-5 singles mark.