Alton's tennis star Lauren Massey.ALTON - The sixth annual Alton High School Andy Simpson Doubles Invitational will take place on Saturday, Aug. 19, at Alton High School, Lewis and Clark Community College’s Andy Simpson Tennis Complex, and Gordon Moore Park’s Bud Simpson Tennis Complex.

Matches start at 9 a.m. at all sites. Jersey Community High School won the 2022 tournament in convincing fashion, sweeping all four flights.

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Alton High Coach Jesse Macias said Jersey dominated last year and he believes they will be the favorite again.

"Jersey is always deep and they play great doubles, so I expect them to have another good tournament," Coach Macias said.

Highland was second and Greenville was third last year, with the Redbirds finishing fourth in the 12-team field.

Coach Macias also said: “Highland has a lot of talent back and so does Quincy Notre Dame, Rochester, and Bradley Bourbonnais. Greenville lost a lot but they will still compete.”

The rest of the field includes Roxana, Collinsville, Father McGivney and Civic Memorial plus newcomer Mascoutah.

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“All the teams have quality players, but it will take scoring in all four flights to place," Coach Macias said.

Alton's girls are in a rebuilding year after losing four all-conference players to graduation, and there are no seniors on this year’s roster.

“We had a fun senior class last year and it was our best team in a long, long time," Coach Macias said. "But our junior class has been working hard all summer and they are ready to step up, along with some good sophomores.”

All-conference players Lilly Schuler and Lauren Massey are back and joined by returning letter winners Scarlett Eades, Ellie Enos, Jamie Postlewait, Nadja Kapetanovich, Jenna Fassler, and Finley Haynes, who are all juniors. Alton also boasts sophomores Arlie Hartmann, Grace Massey, Anna Larson, and Haelee Moyer.

“Practices this year are a little more intense because all the girls are pushing each other," Macias said. "As a coach, I love to see the competitive spirit come out. We will be ready to play this weekend.”

The tournament is named for the late Andy Simpson, a prominent local tennis supporter who passed away in 2016.

“No family could give more to our area in regards to tennis than the Simpsons, and Andy was a true angel in our community. They generously helped build the tennis facilities at Lewis and Clark and Gordon Moore, but Andy also loved all things Alton and we appreciate the time and love she gave to everyone," Macias said. "This tournament is for her and I hope we have terrific competition and sportsmanship all day to make her proud. We will be giving out individual sportsmanship awards in honor of Andy and there is a team sportsmanship award named for Robert Simpson.”

The Redbirds open the season on Friday against Bradley-Bourbonnais at Lewis and Clark.

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