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May's Day Highlights Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Play in League Tennis Tourney

Staff Writer
Chillicothe News
Senior Delaney May of the 2020 Chillicothe (Mo.) HS tennis Lady Hornets, seen during an early-season home match against Trenton, earned third place in Wednesday's (Sept. 30) Midland Empire Conference Championships tournament at St. Joseph.

ST. JOSEPH — Her season paused in the middle by COVID-19 concerns, senior Delaney May of the 2020 Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Lady Hornets generated a high point for herself Wednesday (Sept. 30).

Entered, along with classmate Megan Sisson, in the singles division of the Midland Empire Conference Championships tennis tournament by head coach Karen Jackson, May parlayed a first-round bye and two wins in three matches into a third-place finish.

She was the only one of CHS’ four entries to finish in the top five of either style of play in the action, under perfect weather conditions, at the tourney’s traditional site, the Noyes Tennis Center.

After getting a free pass through the first round, May – unofficially improving her season singles record to 6-4 – swept by Maddee Olszawka of Savannah 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, facing St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond’s fourth-best singles player Emily Weddle, the Lady Hornet lost in straight sets, 2-6, 1-6 to be shunted into the third-place match. There, May registered a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Athena Groumoutis of Maryville.

Chillicothe’s two doubles entries ended up squaring off in the finals of the consolation bracket, with the Cami Carpenter/Leah Lourenco tandem defeating the Rylee Washburn/Olivia Anderson combo 8-2 to take fifth place.

Sisson, CHS’ No. 3 singles player normally, had a break-even day in singles, highlighted by her stunning 8-0 opening-match victory over Olivia Claycomb, Savannah’s No. 2 player.

After losing a wildly-erratic 3-setter to Groumoutis – 2-6, 6-2, 1-6 – in the championship quarterfinals, Sisson rebounded to dominate Cameron’s Mattison Burton 8-2 on the consolation side. She then wrapped up her day by falling 3-8 to St. Joseph: Lafayette’s top player, Rowan Davis.

Lourenco and Carpenter debuted for the day with an 8-4 triumph over Savannah’s Megan Weaver and Hallie Briner. That put the CHS duo against Bishop LeBlond’s top pair, Libby Weddle and Peyton Netten, in the quarterfinals. That resulted in a 2-6, 0-6 loss for the Chillicothe players.

They recovered crisply to then win out on the consolation side of the bracket, dispatching the Kansas City: St. Pius X tandem of DiMartina/Corlew (first names not available) 8-0 and outlasting Lafayette’s Faith Scheerer and Molly Kretzer 9-7 before prevailing over their CHS teammates in the final.

The Anderson/Washburn pairing sustained Chillicothe’s only opening-round loss, falling to Maryville’s Alyssa Pace and Dakotah Haughey (score not available) only about 18 hours after defeating them 8-4 in a dual match at Maryville.

On the consolation side, the Lady Hornets duo rebounded to win 8-3 over Erinn Lotspeich/Avery Sumner of Lafayette. It then avenged the earlier setback against the Maryville tandem by the same 8-4 count Washburn/Anderson had won by a day earlier in the semifinals.

The MEC Championships concluded the CHS girls’ regular season. They’ll commence play in the Class 1 District 15 team tournament which also will include Trenton, Kirksville, and Cameron early next week – most likely on Monday.

Although the official bracket is not yet shown on the Missouri State High School Activities Association website, it is virtually certain the Lady Hornets will be the No. 1 seed, followed by Trenton, Kirksville, and Cameron.

If so, that would mean Chillicothe would host Cameron, who the Lady Hornets sailed by 8-1 in their season opener, in a semifinals match, likely Monday at 4 p.m. at the Daryl Danner Memorial Park Courts.

Trenton would host Kirksville the same day with THS’ Lady Bulldogs – like Chillicothe – heavily favored to advance to the championship match either next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Chillicothe defeated Trenton twice during the regular season – 7-2 at home and 5-4 last week at Trenton. If they meet a third time, it will be in Chillicothe.

Following the team district competition early in the week, CHS will host the non-team singles and doubles tournament some day later next week – likely Thursday or Saturday.