ALTON - Marquette Catholic's girls tennis team won two of three matches that went into a third set tiebreaker, including the final match of the day, in going on to win the Alton City Championship meet against Alton High 5-4 Tuesday afternoon at Gordon Moore Park.

It was very much a nip-and-tuck meet in which both teams played well, with the Explorers pulling the meet out in the end.

Marquette Catholic head girls tennis coach Mike Walters said he thought his team played well against the Redbirds.

"None of our players gave up in their matches," Walters added. "It was a good win."

Redbird head coach Jesse Macias described the competition as follows: "It was a good match, it was a fun match. Marquette won two of the three matches that went into a third set tiebreaker, including the last match of the night, and it could have gone either way."

Macias felt his team played very well throughout the night, and gave much credit to his three of his players, Ainsley Fortschneider, Lydia Taul and Anna Kane.

"It was a good effort, and Ainsley played well," Macias said. "Our senior have played well all year, but Ainsley, Lydia and Anna all played particularly well. They all left it out there tonight."

The doubles started out with Monica Wendle and Aubrey Hunter winning over Fortschneider and Paige Rockholm 6-3, 5-7, 10-8, with Lydia Criveau and Taul bouncing back to win over Nina Walters and Alexis Williams 6-2, 6-0. Betsy Gross and Josie Zigrang then won over Kane and Anna Sommerhoff 6-2, 6-3 to give the Explorers a 2-1 lead going into the doubles.

In the singles, Wendle won the number one match over Criveau 6-0, 6-2, but Fortschneider bounced back to defeat Hunter 6-2, 7-5. In the two singles matches that went to tiebreaks, Walters won the match that decided the meet with a 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 win over Rockholm, and in the number four match, Kane won over Williams 3-6, 6-4, 10-3. In the final two singles matches, Taul won over Olivia Tinsley 6-2, 6-0, and Gross defeated Sommerhoff 6-1, 6-2.

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Alton's record may not show it, but the Redbirds have played well all season, and Macias has been very happy with their efforts.

"Recordwise, we're not going great," Macias said, "but the effort has been there all year, we're getting better every match. and that's what you want to see."

Although there's no IHSA state tennis meet this year, It's not going to stop the Redbirds from striving to improve in every meet, and Macias has that as a goal for the remainder of the year.

"We getting better as a team," Macias said. "There's no state tournament this year, so we hope to keep getting better each match."

Alton hosts Belleville East in a Southwestern Conference dual meet on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., then hosts the Robert Logan Memorial Invitational tournament Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m. The Explorers will play in a quadrangular meet at Greenville on Thursday, along with Granite City and Civic Memorial, a meet that starts at 4 p.m., then will play in the Robert Logan Memorial on Saturday.

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