5/9/14 Hornets Tennis
Midland Empire Conference Individual Tournament
Gabe Poling - Singles Champion
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From Coach Bob Long:
   Chillicothe Hornet boys' varsity tennis team (8-5) competed in the MEC tournament, Friday, May 9 in St Joseph at Noyes Courts.
     Gabe Poling captured the first place singles title. Receiving a bye in the first round and playing lower ranked players in the second and third round, Gabe was prepared for a rematch with Lafayette's Billy Cook. Gabe defeated Andrew Wolf of Lafayette, 6-0, 6-0 and a competitive Steven Mears of LeBlond, 6-1, 6-0. In the championship, Billy Cook, as before, took the early lead winning the first set 6-4. Gabe fell behind in the second set, 1-3, and then settled down to finish the second set 6-4. Gabe continued to play steady tennis in the third, holding off a late rally to win the set 6-3. In the first set Gabe lost most of the games that went to deuce, midway through the second set he began winning all of those games, and in the third set, there weren't as many close games.
     Nathan Sims filled the number two singles position. Nathan drew the number three seed from Benton, Nate Jones, in the first round. Losing 1-6, 1-6, Nathan still managed to be in one of the last first round matches to finish. In the second round, Nathan couldn't seem to find the weakness in Maryville's, Michael Farlow, losing 6-8.
     The number one doubles team of Nate McKiddy and Garrett Peterson defeated the Cameron team of Chris Hershberger and Jonathan Byrom, 6-2, 6-2. McKiddy and Peterson lost the first set to the second round opponent, Alex Brand and Miller Hadley of Lafayette, 3-6. Coming from behind the Hornet duo forced a second set tie-breaker, but were unable to prevail, 6-7 (4-7). Now on the consolation side Nate and Garrett defeated Beattie and Rosenak of Savannah, 8-2. One step from the consolation final, Nate and Garrett lost to the consolation winners, Goecken and Dugan of Maryville, 4-8, a rematch of Thursday's doubles match which McKiddy and Peterson won 9-7. In the final doubles slot,
     Brandon Lamp and Lane Bonderer got off to a fast start, making quick work of the Benton team of Carlos Montoya, and Mark Sewell, 6-0, 6-1. Facing the number three seed in the second round, Lamp and Bonderer competed fiercly, eventually losing, 1-6, 4-6. Brandon and Lane lost their first match on the consolation side to Ellis and Henderson of Lafayette, 0-8.
     The victory was hard fought for Gabe. I enjoy watching their battles, but it is too stressful to watch every night. Gabe puts 100% effort into winning, and I enjoy seeing him be rewarded for his efforts. The other competitors played their best tennis of the day in the first round. Nathan Sims, although losing, played most of the games close against a tough Benton opponent. Both doubles teams, were close to pushing their second round opponents to a third set, but couldn't get it done. Great experience, looking forward to facing Savannah in the first round of districts, Monday, May 12 in Cameron.

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