Hornets Tennis
5/8/15 Conference Singles and Doubles Tournament

(Story by Coach Robert Long)
     One day after clinching the MEC regular season crown, the Chillicothe Hornet Tennis team (13-2) traveled to St Joseph for MEC individual tournament competition. Gabe Poling received the number one seed in singles. He received a bye in the first round and defeated Joe Suchan of Maryville 8-0 in round two. In the scorebook, Gabe's third round victory over John Lierz of LeBlond looked one-sided, but the 8-1 win was tightly contested by the smooth swinging Lierz. A familiar foe on the season awaited Gabe in the championship match, Steven Mears of LeBlond. Gabe had defeated the athletic Mears 8-1 in the dual played at Danner Park and 10-3 in the Benton Invitational. Mears got out to an early 2-1 lead, then Poling won five of the next six games taking the first set 6-3. The stubborn Mears continued fighting in the second set tying it up at 5-5. Just when it looked as if a tie-breaker would have to solve things, Gabe won the final two games and his second MEC singles crown 6-3, 7-5. Gabe commented that each time he plays the LeBlond number one, Steven gets better and closer.
     Brandon Lamp played in Chillicothe's number two singles position. Brandon defeated Bostyn Horn of Benton 8-4 in round one. The first round match was played indoors due to an early shower. Brandon lost to the third seed and Maryville's number one player Michael Farlow 3-8 in round two. Brandon played his best match of the season. On Thursday night Brandon won the quickest match of the season and against Farlow he played his longest match of the season. Hornet Lamp and Spoofhound Farlow are both defensive players, generally frustrating their opponents. Every point and game was contested, with Brandon coming up on the losing side too often. In consolation play, Brandon beat Wesly Sisk of Lafayette 8-0. Then in the consolation semi-finals Brandon ran out of steam in his comeback bid, losing 6-8 to Spencer Rosenak of Savannah.
     Garrett Peterson and Nate McKiddy received the number two seed in the doubles competition. After receiving a bye in the opening round they faced Spencer Joe and Sean Davis of LeBlond in round two. The Hornet duo made quick work of the pair winning 8-1. In the semi-final, Garrett and Nate faced Miller Hadley and Gentry Cline of Lafayette for the second time this week. The Hornets claiming the first meeting 8-2 in Chillicothe on Tuesday, May 5. Peterson and McKiddy won the first set easily 6-2, but the second set was all tied up at 3-3 before Garrett and Nate pulled away winning 6-2, 6-3. In the final awaited the number one seed Craig Helm and Chase Furgison of Savannah. The same pair that defeated Gabe Poling and Brandon Lamp 8-0 in the dual at Savannah. Peterson and McKiddy fought for every point, but the first set went 3-6 to Helm and Furgison. In the second set Garrett and Nate were able to neutralize the hard hitting Savannah duo, evening the match with a 6-3 win. Despite beginning the third set 0-3, the Hornets were losing each game in the no-ad scoring by only one or two points. With four of the next five games going their way, it was knotted at 4-4. Peterson and McKiddy made the plays in the final two games and won the doubles championship 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
     Cody Evans and Lane Bonderer played in the number two doubles spot. Cody and Lane opened up the tournament indoors defeating Teddy Sommers and Andy Burns of LeBlond 8-3. In round two, Cody and Lane kept the Maryville pair of Trystan Lyle and Cody Hermelink off balance. However, in a tough defeat, Chillicothe lost 8-9 (7-9). Evans and Bonderer bounced back winning easily 8-0 in the consolation bracket against Austin Wethered and Spencer Hendrix of Benton. The Hornet pair defeated Gage Zeit and David Curtis of Cameron 9-8 (7-4) in the consolation semi-final. Winning the consolation championship and fifth place in doubles competition, Cody and Lane beat Tyler Coleman and Taylor Wallace of Maryville 9-7.
     Another tremendous day for the Hornet tennis program. Gabe is now 22-0 on the season. Garrett Peterson and Nate McKiddy played their best tennis to date. Brandon Lamp has proved he can be competitive with anyone in the MEC. Cody Evans and Lane Bonderer playing together for the first time, were one point from the semi-finals, and came back from heart-break to take fifth place. The Hornets have now won the Cameron Tournament, the Benton Invitational, and took first place in singles and doubles at the MEC tournament. Team district play begins Tuesday at home against the winner of Trenton and Richmond.

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