EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville tennis player Chloe Koons qualified for next weekend's state tournament while the doubles team of Hannah Colbert and Alyssa Wise also qualified by advancing to the semifinals of the IHSA Class 2A sectional tournament Saturday at the Edwardsville Tennis Center.

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The Tigers lead the meet with 20 points, while both Belleville East and O'Fallon are tied for second with 16 points each. Players from Alton, Collinsville and Granite City were eliminated on the first day.

In the singles, Koons won her first match over Chandana Poola of Springfield 6-0, 6-0, while Ellinore Schuler of Alton won over Brianna Shea of Collinsville 6-2, 6-2. Granite City's Peyton Hatfield defaulted to O'Fallon's Kelsey Dismukes while Edwardsville's Zoe Byron defeated Alton's Lily Schuler 6-0, 6- 1 and Nishi Korrapti of Springfield eliminated Collinsville's Logan Phetsadasack 6-1, 6-1.

Edwardsville head girls tennis coach Dave Lipe said the semifinals, then third- and first-place matches will be held beginning at 1 p.m. at EHS tennis courts on Monday.

"We have eight matches to play on Monday," he said. "I am looking forward to wrapping up the sectional tournament and going to state with our singles and doubles entries. I am incredibly proud of all our girls. I am as proud of the three girls who didn't qualify as much as I am the top three. I don't think Zoe and the Earnhart twins could have played any better than they did on Saturday."

Coach Lipe said Zoe Byron and the Earnhart's in doubles provided critical points to push the Tigers into the sectional team total lead.

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In the quarterfinals, Koons qualified for state with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Ellinore Schuler, while Korrapti eliminated Byron 6-4, 6-2. In the semifinals, Koons will play Dismukes, who won her quarterfinal 6-4, 6-4 over Lily Hayes of Quincy, and Korrpati faces Bellville East's Kylee DelVecchio, a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 winner over Isabel Wells of O'Fallon in the last quarterfinal. All four players qualified for the state meet.

In the doubles, Colbert and Wise won their opener over Emily Lopez and Sierra Storey of Collinsville 6-0, 6-0, while Alton's Chloe Plough and Anna Brad, who had won their first-round match over Granite City's Heidi Schipkowski and Carlee Wright 6-4, 6-1, lost to Maya Hataway and Joanna Cullen of Belleville East 6-2, 6-0.

The Redbirds' team of Anna Kane and Amelia Redman lost their first-round match to Madison Kinder and Caroline Koch of Belleville West 6-3, 7-6 (7-2 in the tiebreak), but Jessa and Brooklyn Earnhart of Edwardsville eliminated Kinder and Koch 6-2, 6-0. Anna Falbe and Alyssa Garcia of Collinsville won by default over Granite City's Mara Withers and Carmen Williams to finish the round.

Two photographs of Redbirds players early in the season.

In the quarterfinals, Colbert and Wise defeated Amelia Willing and Audra Cain of Quincy 6-1, 6-0. while the Earnharts lost to Mia McIssac and Brodie Rauch of Belleville East 6-3, 6-1 and Falbe and Garcia lost to Megan Mueller and Ava Taylor 6-0, 6-1.

In the semifinals, with all four remaining teams qualifying for state, Colbert and Wise will face Belleville West's Mariella Pellmann and Hailey Neal, a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Hataway and Cullen in the quarterfinals, while McIssa and Rauch meet Mueller and Taylor in the other semifinal.

The semifinals and finals will be played on Monday afternoon at the Edwardsville Tennis Center, starting at 1 p.m. The state tournament will be played at Buffalo Grove High School and surrounding schools in suburban Chicago starting Thursday.

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