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ALTON – Edwardsville's boys tennis team came off a big win in last weekend's DecoTurf High School Tennis Championships tournament in Chattanooga, Tenn., with a 9-0 triumph over Alton Tuesday afternoon at Alton High's courts to begin the Southwestern Conference season for both schools.
'We had a great weekend in Chattanooga,” said Tiger coach Dave Lipe. “That weekend is over, so we're back here; we've had lots of good matches with Alton. Tonight, we were pretty sharp in most places – in a couple of places, we're still going through a few growing pains, but it's good to win 9-0 and we're looking forward to preparing and getting ready for our tournament (the Spring Invitational) on (March 30-31).”
EHS had a bit of a different lineup Tuesday. “The kids are still playing challenge matches and figuring out who we are,” Lipe said. “The lineup's not set, the doubles isn't set; you saw we had different combinations out there tonight. Alex (Gray) was out there with Drake (Schrieber at No. 1 doubles), we had Jason (Pan) and Logan (Pursell) at (No. 2 doubles) and Ben (Blake) and Nick (Hobin) playing for the first time this year in varsity competition.
“They had a little jitters, but they settled down and played a good second set, I thought.”
Redbird coach Bob Lowe thought the experience against the Tigers will be a big help later on. “It was a good experience,” Lowe said. “I'm glad we got this one over early and I thought the kids all played great; it was a good experience for them.
“We expected a tough match and we were overwhelmed, but the kids fought hard and it was good. I'm real happy with how the kids played; they competed well.”
Tuesday's conditions were difficult at best for both teams; the temperatures hovered the low 40s with windy conditions. “This is not tennis weather,” Lowe said with a laugh. “Hopefully, it'll get better.”
“The conditions were tough,” Lipe said. “All things considered, I'm pleased with how we played; it's cold, it's gray and everybody we cold on both sides, but the elements are the same on both sides – you just have to deal with them.”
Zach Trimpe got things started off for the Tigers in singles with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Walker Moan at No. 1 singles, followed by Gray topping Ben Simansky at No. 2 singles 6-0, 6-0. At No. 3 singles, Seth Lipe defeated Carson Freeman 6-1, 6-0 and Pursell topped Sam Kane 6-0, 6-1; Schrieber scored a 6-1, 6-1 win over Jared Engleman at No. 5 singles and Pan scored a 6-1, 6-1 win over Owen Williams at No. 6 singles.
In doubles play, Schrieber/Gray defeated Moan/Simansky 6-0, 6-0 in No. 1 doubles while Pan/Pursell took a 6-2, 6-2 win over Freeman/Kane at No. 2 and Ben Blake/Nick Hobin won at No. 3 doubles 7-5, 6-3 over Engleman/Williams.
The Tigers are off until their Spring Invitational tournament March 30-31 before hosting O'Fallon at the EHS Tennis Center at 3:30 p.m. April 4; the Redbirds are back in action at 3:30 p.m. March 27 at O'Fallon before taking part in the EHS Spring Invitational March 30-31 and traveling to Collinsville for a SWC match at 3:30 p.m. April 5.
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