Hornets Tennis
4/23/15 Chillicothe 5, Savannah 4

Story by Coach Bob Long
     The Chillicothe Hornets boys' tennis team (8-1) played the Savannah Savages Thursday, with the winner having the conference lead. With wins over conference foes Benton, LeBlond and Cameron, a win over Savannah would be important. Both teams had lost one player from their 2014 teams (Nathan Sims-Chillicothe), in a season in which they split matches. Chillicothe winning the regular season and Savannah winning the District team match.
     The match began with doubles play. Hornets Gabe Poling and Brandon Lamp (playing together for the first time) were defeated by Savages Craig Helm and Chase Furgison 0-8. Garrett Peteson and Nate McKiddy beat Baxter Krumme and Briley Krumme for the second time this season. Winning 8-0 at the Cameron tournament, Peterson and McKiddy held off the duo for an 8-4 win. Cody Evans and Lane Bonderer lost to Kennyn Sandy and Zane Beattie 3-8. The strategy of using Poling at number one doubles in hopes of securing at least two doubles wins back-fires and singles victories were going to be difficult.
     In singles, Gabe Poling regained his form defeating Craig Helm 8-1. Gabe got out to a quick lead and left the outcome to litttle doubt. Garrett Peterson beat Baxter Krumme 8-4. Garrett remained patient and eventually broke the back and forth battle open. Nate McKiddy down 4-6 to his opponent Chase Furgison won the final four games and moved Chillicothe one victory away from securing the fifth and deciding match win. McKiddy and Furgison's match was entertaining to watch. Both players are terrific athletes and mirror images of each other on the tennis court. Brandon Lamp defeated Kennyn Sandy 8--4 shortly after Nate's match finished giving the Hornets the decisive fifth win. Brandon led throughout and Sandy picked up his game out of desperation. With the team win in hand, juniors Cody Evans and Lane Bonderer took the court in the 4-court complex. Cody Evans lost 4-8 to Savannah's Spencer Rosenak. Lane Bonderer fought back from an early deficit, but was unable to take the lead, losing to Briley Krumme 5-8.
     The Hornet varsity fought back after losing 2 out of 3 doubles. I told them, "we need them all' as the four top players headed out to face their singles opponents. Mid way through Gabe and Brandon looked as if they would win, but Garrett and Nate were in tight battles. Garrett began to find space and Nate almost always wins the close ones. Brandon began with a four game lead and Savannah's Kennyn Sandy started playing as he had nothing to lose. Nate finished off his mini-comeback and Brandon held off the determined Sandy to secure the conference win. Lane Bonderer played well against the experienced Briley Krumme, bringing the match to a close 5-6 score. Coach Traci Westfall has an excellent program and is always gracious in victory or defeat. The Hornets play the Kirksville Tigers at Daryl Danner Memorial park on Tuesday, April 28.

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