On Saturday, October 14th, seniors Rylee Washburn and Isabella Garr finished their decorated high school tennis careers with two matches in the final four of the Class 1 MSHSAA state championships. The first match of the day was set against returning state champions Bean & McAtee from Kennett-Holcomb. While the score looked very lopsided, Coach Chambers confirms it was a highly competitive match with many games going to deuce. However, Kennett-Holcomb was able to capitalize on each of those opportunities eventually winning 6-0, 6-0 in both sets over Chillicothe. They went on to become two-time state champions later that day.
An hour later, Rylee and Izzy faced their last career match against Clayton’s top doubles pair Reeves & Zimmerman who placed fifth in state doubles last year. Chillicothe came out strong in the first set going up 2-1, but after a game that included six deuce ties, Clayton tied it up at 2-2 and then went on a winning streak, taking the first set 6-3. The lady hornets played great tennis throughout both sets with stellar net play, but Clayton’s alley shots proved too difficult to overcome. Eventually Clayton took the second set 6-2 to close the match.
Before beginning the weekend, Washburn and Garr’s goal was to medal at state. Coming out fourth, where eight medal from the pool of 16, far exceeded their expectations. They were quoted as “being in good company with Coach Pyrtle” since the pair now has a fourth place team medal from 2022 and a fourth place doubles medal from 2023, which precisely matches Pyrtle’s medals from 2008.