Hornets Tennis
4/1/15 at Cameron Tournament - 1st Place

(Picture Courtesy of Sally Peterson)

Story by Coach Bob Long
     The Chillicothe Hornets boys' tennis team won first place at the Cameron Invitational Tournament. In the two singles and two doubles format, Chillicothe received 17.5 points (2 points for a win, 0.5 points for a win in consolation), 2.5 points ahead of second place Warrensburg and six points ahead of third place Savannah. The eight team field also included fourth place LeBlond, then Higginsville, Kirksville, Cameron and Trenton.
     In singles, third seeded Gabe Poling of Chillicothe placed first. Gabe defeated Max Manley of Warrensburg 6-0, Arthur Muhl of Cameron 8-3, Matt Gibson (#2 seed) of Higginsville 8-4, and Chris O'Connor (#1 seed) of Warrensburg 8-0. Gabe places a lot of pressure upon himself to perform at a high level. Half way through his semi-final match with Matt Gibson, Gabe began to play relaxed and confident, resulting in him winning the last eleven games. Chillicothe junior Steen Anthony played in the other Hornet singles spot. After dropping his opening match 2-6 to Kennyn Sandy of Savannah, Steen rebounded and beat Isaiah Lickteig of Trenton 6-2. Steen faced Tyler Hansen, Kirksville's number one singles entry, in the following round and lost 0-6.
    In doubles, Garrett Peterson and Nate McKiddy went into the tournament as the number one seed. The Hornet duo earned their ranking by defeating Findley and Curtis of Cameron 6-0, Pultz and Sneddon of Kirksville 8-3 and in the semi-final Krumme and Krumme of Savannah 8-3. In the final against Scurlock and Lichte of Warrensburg, Garrett and Nate trailed for the majority of the match. Not giving up, the Hornets brought the score to a tie at 6-6, before falling 6-8, and earning second place in the individual doubles. In the Chillicothe number two doubles entry, Brandon Lamp and Cody Evans placed sixth (out of 16). The Hornet pair defeated Hall and Ockenfels of Trenton 6-0 and then lost to eventual winners Scurlock and Lichte of Warrensburg 3-8. Brandon and Cody began playing their best tennis of the year, defeating Joe and Davis of LeBlond 6-2 and Ockenfels and Murphy of Kirksville 6-3. In the consolation final, the Hornet duo couldn't find a rhythm and eventually ran out of time, trying to play from behind, ending in a 3-6 loss to Cooper and Dyer of Higginsville.
    Winning first place with everyone contributing and against such quality opponents is rewarding. Splitting the individual champions with Warrensburg, meant the team champion would be decided by the results of the number two singles and doubles entries. Steen Anthony winning a singles match and doubles wins by Brandon Lamp and Cody Evans put the Hornet squad over the top. Gabe Poling is always impressive, but he played at an even higher level than usual in the championship match. Garrett Peterson and Nate McKiddy began to show glimpses of the play that resulted in them winning the 2014 doubles district title.

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