POTOSI – After battling closely in pursuit of a district title last week, Potosi senior Chase Glore and North County junior Evan Veach drew gargantuan challenges in the Class 1 state tennis playoffs.
William Applegate eliminated Glore, and Whitfield teammate Daniel Radke ousted Veach during a pair of 6-0, 6-0 singles sweeps in sectional action Friday morning at Trojan Sports Complex.
North County hoped to follow its District 2 team championship on Wednesday by sending multiple qualifiers to Springfield, but ran into powerful and proven competition from traditionally strong District 4.
Senior doubles pairing Peyton Cheek and Dreston Hoffman ended their individual state hopes in a 6-3, 6-2 defeat against Spencer Pompian and Joe Major of Clayton.
Radke placed third and Applegate took fifth last year in state singles play, and looked more than capable of exceeding those lofty results later this month.
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Glore previously edged Veach in a tiebreaker for his first district title, but was repeatedly pushed to the corners and beyond the baseline as Applegate unleashed punishing ground strokes.
Just hours before his graduation ceremony at Potosi, Glore delivered one of his best moments of the match by reaching to save a rally on the backhand before belting the next forehand past Applegate.
Veach tried his best to withstand a barrage of strong first serves from Radke, who blistered three aces during the opening game and zipped cross-court strikes on occasions when his opponent could approach.
Radke closed out the brisk opening stanza with a clean winner down the line while returning a serve.
Cheek and Hoffman had a promising start in doubles action by winning their respective initial service games before an increase in errors and double faults enabled Pompian and Major to capitalize.
The Clayton tandem faced a brief threat after claiming the first set, but executed their plan of hitting deep angles and forcing Cheek to sprint as Hoffman patrolled closer to the net.
The Raiders had multiple chances to square the second set on serve in the sixth game. Cheek, who earlier raced forward to get an excellent slice volley, defended well to outlast the Greyhounds during a series of five deuces.
But quick reaction on a volley by Pompian and corner placement from Major during a longer rally keyed an eventual service break against Hoffman.
Major hit a return that nearly carried long. With players also serving as their own line judges, Hoffman deemed the shot good and sailed his instant return to make the margin 4-2.
North County will resume its postseason under the sectional team format against Clayton on Monday at Engler Park in Farmington.
Clayton earned a second doubles bid when Ismael Robles-Razzaq and Anurag Venigalla topped Festus duo Paige Wilkinson and Dustin Peters 6-0, 6-2.