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EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville's boys tennis team defeated O'Fallon at the EHS Tennis Center Tuesday afternoon in a Southwestern Conference match, but the 8-1 result in the Tigers' favor didn't come easily; the Tigers improved to 11-1 on the year overall and to 5-0 in the SWC with one more meet remaining.

Zach Trimpe, the Tigers' No. 1 singles player, dropped a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 decision to the Panthers' top player, Dominic Macaluso, who will be heading to Xavier in Cincinnati next year, and while the other matches went the Tigers' way, many of them were competitive all the way through. “Give them the credit at No. 1 singles,” said EHS coach Dave Lipe. “Dominic played a great match; I didn't think Zach played poorly, I just thought the other guy played well today.

“There were several matches that were competitive that went out way – an 8-1 result against this team is very good for us obviously; they lost to (Belleville) East 7-2, so we've got one match left in the (SWC) regular season and we'll have to take care of business against Belleville West (May 8 in Belleville) and look forward to the conference tournament (May 11-12) after that, but after tonight, we'll have our mind on the Naper Valley Tournament that starts Friday (at Naperville in the Chicago suburbs and runs through Saturday) – that's where my head is and that's where the boys' collective heads are.

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“We looked a little tired in spots – I thought we looked a little lethargic in spots, so we'll take the 8-1, but I'm not completely pleased with how we played tonight and I don't think these guys are either.”

At this point in the season, Lipe feels it's not so much that the winning is important, it's how you're competing against your opponent, especially with the IHSA postseason looming in the next few weeks with the Class 2A sectionals and the IHSA Class 2A state tournament on the horizon Memorial Day weekend. “I don't think winning at this point in the season is the most important thing; winning's great, but it's how you compete is really critical, and I think we can get better,” Lipe said.

Among the other singles matches on the day, Alex Gray, playing in the second flight, defeated Niko Papachristanthou 6-0, 6-0; Seth Lipe, at No. 3 singles, scored a 6-0, 6-0 win over Quincy Dollison; Logan Pursell, at No. 4 singles, defeated Evan Potter 6-1, 6-4; Drake Schreiber downed Noah Kellerman 6-4, 6-3 at No. 5 singles; and Jason Pan got past Eric Upson at No. 6 singles by a 7-5, 6-2 decision.

In the doubles competition, Gray/Lipe defeated Papachristanthou/Dollison 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles, while Trimpe/Schreiber downed Macaluso/Potter 7-6 (7-3), 6-2; and Pursell/Pan scored a 6-2, 6-1 win over Kellerman/Upson.

The Tigers' IHSA Class 2A sectional is at Belleville East, with Alton and Granite City the other area teams taking part; the top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the state Class 2A tournament Memorial Day weekend at Arlington Heights Hersey in suburban Chicago and other schools in that area.

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