Lady Hornets Tennis
10/10/2022 Sectionals at Chillicothe


     On October 10th, the Chillicothe Tennis Team hosted the Class 1, Sectional 8 matches at Danner Park. From 10 am to 1 pm, Chillicothe completed a dual with Excelsior Springs and Savannah dualed against Lafayette County (Higginsville). After lots of back and forth, equally-paired matches, Chillicothe claimed the first dual win 5-3. A few minutes later, Savannah squeaked out a win 5-4. Chillicothe won this match with a Doubles' win by Washburn & Garr as well as Singles' wins from Washburn, Garr, BeVelle, and Kieffer each in two straight sets.
     The two teams moved on to the Sectional Semi-Final (also known as the MSHSAA Quarterfinals). In Doubles play, Chillicothe's Kieffer & Crowe fell quickly in their #3 Doubles match 2-8, and a few minutes later, Lady Hornets' Carpenter & BeVelle also dropped their #1 Doubles match 1-8. In #2 Doubles, Garr and Washburn battled through a long, even match to finally come away with an important 8-6 win.
     As the team moved into Singles play, it was all but understood that Savannah's returning #1 player, an individual State medalist last year, would solidify another team point for her school, eventually beating Carpenter in straight sets. This put the Lady Hornets down 1-3 as a team with two other matches already down a set and headed toward a loss, which would have given Savannah enough points to finish the Dual. In the meantime, Washburn worked to win her #2 Singles match in straight sets, moving the team back to 2-3. Then, in a stunning half hour of tennis, the likes of which Danner Park has possibly never seen before, Chillicothe's remaining four varsity Singles players mounted stunning comebacks. After dropping their first sets and starting slow again in their second sets, gradually #5 Madison Kieffer and #6 Micah Crowe chipped away at their opponents' leads until suddenly they had both won the second set, sending both matches (on adjoining courts) into sudden death, third-set match tie breaks within only three minutes of each other. Kieffer pulled off her win with a final 10-7 tie break score, and just minutes later, Crowe did the same with a 10-8 tiebreak win. Those two matches proved pivotal in the team's eventual win.
     Down the court, Garr and BeVelle had both won tough first sets, were battling through their second sets, and had no clue that their matches would decide the team's State journey. Calmly, BeVelle closed out her second set with an unknown State-qualifying match point, after which she was promptly bombarded with teammates screaming, cheering, and jumping all over her. Garr did not have to finish her final set as the team won the Quarterfinals 5-3.
     The Lady Hornet Team will play in the MSHSAA Final Four on Friday, October 21 at Noon and again for either the championship or consolation on Saturday, October 22 at Noon, both days at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield, MO. (But first, Carpenter, Washburn, and Garr will all go compete in Individual State Tournament play in Singles and Doubles respectively.

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