CHS wins three sets from defending district champions, has pair of close losses in Tuesday, April 16, 2019, match

CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — Although there is more work to be done, Chillicothe (Mo.) HS' tennis Hornets on Tuesday, April 16, demonstrated they have the capability of being a contender for some 2019 postseason success.
Hosting the defending district-champion Trenton Bulldogs at the Daryl Danner Memorial Park courts, the Hornets dropped a 6-3 dual match five days after losing seven of nine sets against the Bulldogs in a tournament at Kirksville.
While THS prevailed by a seemingly-comfortable margin, Chillicothe was not far from edging a team which will be one of the squads to beat in this year’s Class 1 District 16 team tournament.
Tuesday’s No. 1 doubles set between CHS’ Tyler Maasdam and Noah Crowe and Trenton’s Nick Shields and Creed Houghton was close throughout. When the Hornets captured the 16th game to square the set at 8-8, the duel went to a 12-points tiebreaker to be decided.
In the tiebreaker, CHS served at 5-5 with a chance to create a set point by winning that rally, but dropped it. The Crowe/Maasdam duo then save a set point, pulling even again at 6-6 before Houghton/Shields took the next two points and the set.
Had, at 5-5 or 6-6, Chillicothe had gained those two consecutive points it needed to claim the set from the THS 2018 state-qualifying pair, it would have put additional pressure on Trenton in the two singles sets that were played in relatively-close fashion.
CHS senior Colton Johnson showed how the teams’ prior results weren’t iron-clad predictors of Tuesday’s outcomes as, in No. 5 singles, he battled past Ike Harris 8-5 less than a week after losing to Harris 3-8 at Kirksville.
If Chillicothe had had the No. 1 doubles win in its pocket, that could have meant the competitive No. 3 singles set between its Brendon Nelson and Trenton’s Houghton would have tipped the scales to victory. Although Houghton claimed it 8-5, had Nelson won the last game, rather than lost, the set would have been at 7-6 in the Bulldogs’ favor with Chillicothe’s upset bid putting extra heat on Houghton to win the 14th game or see the set, like the match, tied and ready to go either way.
In addition to Johnson’s win, Chillicothe’s position victories in Tuesday’s action were achieved by the No. 3 doubles unit of Seth Batye and Gavin Sampsel, which prevailed 8-4, and by junior Sampsel in No. 6 singles by a decisive 8-2 margin.
Sampsel, recently utilized in varsity action repeatedly, due to an injury – now injuries, according to coach Bob Long – to Grahm Mayers, thus was the only Hornet not to taste defeat against Trenton.
Chillicothe’s tennis boys now have a week off between matches, not playing again until they host Kirksville next Tuesday. Kirksville shut out CHS in all nine singles and doubles sets in the recent tournament KHS hosted.
Tuesday’s clash of neighbors included a half-dozen junior-varsity sets, of which Chillicothe won two, both in doubles. Victorious for CHS were the duos of Caleb Corbin/Tyler Black (6-2) and Spencer Maasdam/Chace Corbin (6-0).