ALTON - Edwardsville and Alton opened their boys tennis seasons on Tuesday, with the Tigers sweeping the Redbirds 9-0 in a Southwestern Conference dual meet held at the Alton High tennis courts, with Edwardsville not only winning the matches, but not even losing a set.

Edwardsville head boys tennis coach Dave Lipe said Alton is "an excellent team."

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"We are fortunate to not lose a match today," he added. "Our kids played well up and down the lineup, especially for the first match of the year."

Nevertheless, the Redbirds showed plenty of determination, playing well throughout the matches and never surrendering.

"It was nice to get out and compete against another team,' said Alton head coach Jesse Macias, "and conference matches are always high energy. I thought we came out aggressive and focused in doubles, and all three teams played some of the best points I've seen them play. It would have been nice to string a few more games together, but Edwardsville is tough in doubles and singles."

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One doubles team that impressed for the Redbirds was the duo of Parker Mayhew and James McKeever, who played well together and look promising this season.

"Our one team of Parker and James looked like they never took a break," Macias said. "They were in great form. Our other two teams are new. Nate (Bartlett) did a lot of the heavy lifting in (number) two doubles, and I think him and Nick (Hannebutt) are going to be a solid team. Luke (Boyd) and Alex (Tuetken) really get after it and support each other well. I'm looking for a big season from them too."

The singles were a different story, as the Tigers used their depth and experience to wear down the Redbird players to take the wins.

"We return a lot of experience, and so does Edwardsville," Macias said, "but they just wore us down in singles. The depth, pace, and consistency exhaust you, and they have some creative players. We battled and had our moments, but they were in control of the singles matches. Our guys showed a lot of fight, especially Parker and Luke. It's a tough way to start the season, but we will learn from this, and move on. It's not fun to lose, but our players know conference matches make you better."

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