Alex Gray and Seth Lipe played top-notch tennis in doubles competition Saturday. (Photos by Dan Brannan and Brent Feeney)

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EDWARDSVILLE – Rainy weather Saturday brought the Scott Credit Union Edwardsville Spring Invitational boys tennis tournament to an early end Saturday, but not before the Tigers scored an 8-1 win over John Burroughs of St. Louis County in the Champions Flight semifinals to reach the flight's final against St. Xavier High School of Louisville, Ky., who defeated Normal University High 5-1 in the other semifinal; the Tigers and St. Xavier were declared co-champions.

Play began Saturday morning at the Edwardsville Tennis Center, with the Tigers-Bombers semifinal being able to complete doubles play before rain began to fall, forcing the match to be moved to the nearby YMCA Meyer Center courts to complete the match; the final could not be played due to time constraints.

“It was a thrilling win for us,” said Tiger coach Dave Lipe. “We had three wins against quality teams over the weekend, Springfield, Downers Grove South and John Burroughs; they went into the weekend as the No. 2 seed (in the Champions flight of the tournament) and we were the No. 3 seed.

“We weren’t perfect over the weekend, but we were excellent; we still have some things we need to work on, but it’s still early.”

Alex Gray and Seth Lipe teamed up in the top doubles match to defeat Rory Sutter and Ben Remis 8-6, while at No. 2 doubles, Zach Trimpe/Drake Schreiber defeated Dev Nayak/Sam Wang 8-3 and Logan Pursell/Jason Pan scored an 8-0 win over Court Hyken/Thomas Hobbs to get the Tigers off to a 3-0 lead before the matches were moved to the YMCA courts.

“That was a big win for us, Alex and Seth getting the win in doubles,” Lipe said.

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In singles play, Trimpe defeated Remis 6-3, 6-1, while Gray scored a 6-2, 6-1 win over Sutter, Lipe downed Wang 6-3, 6-1, Pursell dropped a 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 decision to Nayak, Schreiber battled to a 4-6, 6-2, 10-6 win over Hyken and Pan upended Hobbs 6-4, 6-0.

In matches involving area teams in other flights that were played Saturday, Carbondale blanked Triad 9-0 in a Challengers flight semifinal match while Alton defeated the Homewood-Flossmoor JV team 5-2 and Jersey scored a 5-0 win over Marion in 13th-place semifinal matches in the Challengers, while the Triad second JV team defeated Salem 4-3 in a third-place semifinal match in the Futures Flight.

Lipe thanked SCU for their sponsorship of the tournament in his capacity as tournament director. “They’re a pleasure to work with,” Lipe said. “We had 40 teams here this weekend (in three flights of competition) and we had plenty of help from all the schools in the (Metro East) area to put this on.

“We want to help grow the game of tennis here in the area and we had some outstanding tennis played during the tournament. We had some 300 players who had a chance to play over the weekend.”

Teams did manage to get one match in before the rains came Saturday morning.

Edwardsville returns to Southwestern Conference play at the EHS Tennis Center at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday against O'Fallon before heading to Evanston to play in the Evanston Invitational tournament at 8 a.m. April 7; the Redbirds head to Collinsville for a 3:30 p.m. Thursday SWC dual against the Kahoks.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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