Required less than an hour to best injury-crimped Excelsior Springs 5-0 in Class 1 postseason action at home Tuesday (Oct. 8, 2019)
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — In less time than it took their opponent to arrive or go home, Chillicothe’s tennis Lady Hornets advanced to the District 15 team tournament championship match Tuesday at the expense of Excelsior Springs.
With Excelsior Springs’ No. 5 player injured and unavailable, the Lady Tigers could not provide either a third doubles entry nor a No. 6 singles entry, so Chillicothe led 2-0 before the first thwack of the ball.
Once actual play began, things didn’t become any better for the fourth-seeded ESHS squad.
Because of the lack of a No. 3 doubles set, one singles position – No. 5 – was able to get going concurrently with the start of the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles sets, since neither No. 5 singles player would be involved in doubles competition.
In that rare circumstance, when Chillicothe quickly established dominant leads in all three sets/matches, it quickly became apparent the competition would not last very long.
In doubles, where district team play involves playing a single set with “pro-8” scoring (first team to win eight games with a lead of at least two games wins the set), newly-minted Midland Empire Conference Hunter Keithley and Hannah Zimmeman jumped ahead of Excelsior Springs’ Rebekah Harness and Amanda Mayfield in No. 1 position and CHS’ Macy Cavanah and Delaney May did the same in No. 2 spot.
Simultaneously, Sisson seized a quick upper hand on Kayle Como in their best-of-3-sets singles clash and closed out the first set in a 6-0 shutout.
As the singles action moved into its second set and Sisson continued her dominance, May and Cavanah concluded a whitewash of their own, besting Elizabeth Casey and Sadie Moore 8-0. That made the team-match score 3-0.
Although they dropped a couple of games, Zimmerman and Keithley easily maintained command of their doubles set, finishing it with an 8-2 margin that put Chillicothe one win shy of terminating the match.
Perhaps about 10 minutes later, Sisson won the final point of her No. 5 singles match, giving the Lady Hornet the second set 6-1 and that match in straight sets.
That made the team count 5-0, which – under Missouri State High School Activities Association regulation – meant a cessation of all play. While other singles matches normally are in progress when that insurmountable 5-wins threshold is crossed, in this case – given that the doubles participants had only recently ended their sets and were not yet ready to transition to their prospective singles matches, there was no other play to call to a halt. In an hour or less of actual play – about 10-15 less than it took for Excelsior Springs to make the trip to Chillicothe or back home, top-seeded Chillicothe had advanced to the District 15 title match.
That match will be played on the same Daryl Danner Memorial Park courts Wednesday (Oct. 9) with the second-seeded Trenton Lady Bulldogs as the opponent. Trenton, twice a 7-2 victim of Chillicothe’s in regular-season dual matches, reached the championship round Tuesday with a 5-2 home win over No. 3 seed Richmond.
The district-title match, which CHS will enter with a 13-2 record, is set to commence at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
That victor will advance to the 2-rounds sectional “mini-tournament” with champions from districts 13, 14, and 16 at the end of next week.
While the team component of the Class 1 District 15 Tournament will wrap up Wednesday, the non-team singles and doubles tournaments which Chillicothe will host at Danner Park might not be allowed by the weather to be played on Thursday, as scheduled.
If rained out Thursday, the competition could be reset for Friday, but only if all participating schools agree, Chillicothe head coach Bob Long shared with the C-T. If any school dissents, the action – due for an approximately 8:30 a.m. start, would be set back to Saturday.