ALTON - Despite the intense heat that often comes with the beginning of September, the Alton High School girls tennis team hit the courts in a battle with the ladies of Jersey Community High School.

In the match that took place at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at the home of the Redbirds, Robert Logan, the coach of the girls tennis team, was extremely proud of how the girls were performing in the rough heat.

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“It’s the hottest day we’ve had so far this season,” Logan said, “I thought they would have been a little more fatigued, but we are doing great and battling hard.”

And battle hard they did; The Birds beat the Panthers 8-1 in their matches. The only team’s loss was quite close as well. Co-captain and number three player Mary McDaniels lost her matches 6-4 and 6-2.

“Mary has been playing just about every single day during the summertime. She has really improved a lot,” Logan said.

Logan also sang the praises of the team’s other co-captain, Shannon Willis. In her matches, Willis went 6-3 6-0. In her doubles matches with Abby Fischer, they won 6-1 6-3.

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“I’m really looking for big things for her this year,” Logan said of Willis, “She has put in a tremendous amount of work.”

The match today brought the Redbirds’ record up to 3-0 for the season, pending results from a tournament played in Springfield last week. The team had played Metro-East Lutheran High School and East Alton Wood River High School in their previous matches.

“We feel like we can kind of gauge where we stand in the hierarchy and everything like that,” Logan said, “It looks like it’s going to be pretty close here with Roxana, Marquette and Edwardsville. It should be a really fun year.”

The Alton High School Girls Tennis team will head back to Springfield, Ill., at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5 to participate in the Sacred Heart Griffin High School Tournament.

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