Both varsity, JV squads reached semifinals of Saturday's event; soccer Hornets went winless at Moberly despite highlight-reel goal by Ripley

Chillicothe High School’s volleyball and boys’ soccer teams were involved in tournaments this past weekend (Sept. 20-21, 2019), but the softball squad – while scheduled to – did not play.
The volleyball Lady Hornets hosted their annual 8-teams tournament, a count which included the host’s junior-varsity squad, as well, and both CHS contingents fared well – advancing to the championship semifinals before losing there.
The soccer Hornets had a less-prosperous weekend, tying the host Spartans Friday in the Moberly Invitational before losing two matches Saturday.
The softball Lady Hornets’ planned action in the Lexington Invitational was rained out. The CHS girls were due to go there yesterday, as well, for non-tourney games.
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — Both Chillicothe’s varsity and junior-varsity units earned second place in their respective 4-teams “pools” Saturday morning – the jayvees by tiebreaker over the Brookfield and Carrollton varsity groups – to be among the squads qualifying for Saturday afternoon’s bracketed semifinals and finals.
After capturing five of their six games in the “pool” action, the varsity Lady Hornets found themselves paired again with a foe which had just handled them decisively in Chillicothe last Thursday. St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond proved just as tough in this quick rematch, storming past CHS’ “A” team 25-15, 25-7 to reach the championship match.
At the same time, the JV Lady Hornets were taking on Lawson, with whom the CHS varsity had split games during “pool” play. Predictably, Lawson cruised on to the title tilt by a 25-2, 25-9 spread, a win it followed with a 25-19, 25-20 verdict over Bishop LeBlond in the finals.
Because it would have matched the two home squads, the scheduled third-place match was cancelled.
During the CHS varsity Lady Hornets’ “pool” duels, it topped Hamilton: Penney 25-22, 25-18 and Richmond 25-10, 25-11. It dropped game one against eventual champion Lawson 10-25, but then came alive and pulled out a tight 25-22 triumph in game two.
As for the CHS jayvees, while blown out by Bishop LeBlond 16-25, 10-25, they came on to split the other two “pool” matches – going 25-21, 24-26 against Brookfield and 22-25, 25-19 against Carrollton. When Chillicothe’s “B” team had the best net scoring differential across all of the “pool” competition, it received the “black pool’s” second berth in bracket play.
Statistically for the varsity Lady Hornets, multiple players contributed to the success which left the team exiting the tournament with a 5-3-1 record for the season.
Junior Lucy Gaston served a team-high six aces and tied sophomore Essie Hicks for second-most CHS varsity “kills” (spikes) with 11. Maya Snyder, another junior, topped the net offense with 14 “kills” and added 13 defensive “digs.”
Selby Miller, another 10th grader, earned 24 assists and junior co-setter Haylee Coplen 22. Sophomore Makayla Vance topped the Lady Hornets’ floor defense with 21 digs and Hicks also had five aces to go with her play at the net.
No statistics were reported for the Chillicothe junior-varsity players.
The CHS spikers host St. Joseph: Benton today (Monday, Sept. 23) before traveling to Cameron for Midland Empire Conference play tomorrow.
MOBERLY, Mo. — CHS’ booters could have fared better – or worse.
In their opening match of the 4-teams, round-robin Moberly Invitational Friday (Sept. 20), they fell behind the host Spartans 1-0 on a goal midway through the second half. However, junior back Dalton Ripley bounced a 53-yards direct free kick (see imbedded Buck Cueni-Smith video) – likely the longest goal in Hornets history – over the Moberly goalkeeper with 10 minutes remaining in the match. His second goal of the season salvaged a 1-1 tie. Sophomore goalkeeper Jaxon Albertson was a key figure in getting the tie, making 11 saves.
Saturday morning, CHS twice erased Mexico 1-goal leads before the Bulldogs registered an unassisted tally with just over over 12 minutes to play to gain a 3-2 decision.
Hornets leading scorer Mason Baxter provided by goals – his 11th and 12th – in the fifth and 37th minutes. His initial tally, set up by Ben Cueni-Smith’s team-best seventh assist of 2019, balanced of a Mexico goal in the match’s second minute. After the Bulldogs reclaimed the upper hand in the 15th minute, the CHS junior made it level again at intermission when he converted Drake Cosgrove’s pass about three minutes ahead of halftime.
Goalkeeper Albertson was credited with four saves in the second match by CHS statisticians.
Saturday’s second match for the Hornets was against eventual tournament champion Kirksville, which had dominated CHS 4-0 in Chillicothe previously. This time, with two goals in the first five minutes and five unanswered tallies in the first half, KHS’ Tigers rolled 8-3.
The Hornets (5-3-1) dented the scoreboard just before halftime when senior Kaleb Mullikin knocked home his second goal of the season off a Baxter assist on a CHS corner kick.
About 11 minutes into the last half, Cosgrove also netted his second 2019 goal, directing home an indirect free kick taken by Baxter, who earned his fourth assist of the year. After Kirksville responded with two goals in the next four minutes to make sure the Hornets didn’t entertain any notion of a huge comeback win, freshman Wyatt Brandsgaard scored the second goal of his CHS career in the match’s 64th minute, set up by Cosgrove’s corner kick. With his two assists in the tournament, Cosgrove has six helpers, only one behind Cueni-Smith.
Albertson managed to make four saves against the potent, highly-dangerous and skilled Kirksville offense.
Chillicothe’s booters will try to get back on the winning track Tuesday when they visit St. Joseph: Benton at 5 p.m. That match will not count in the Midland Empire Conference standings.