BELLEVILLE – Edwardsville and Belleville East finished tied for first place in the Southwestern Conference girls’ tennis championships held over the weekend at the East tennis courts.
Both the Tigers and Lancers finished with 58 points, but East took the crown by virtue of its 7-2 win in the team’s dual meet on Sept. 13. The Tigers’ loss ended a 67-match conference dual meet winning streak that began in 2008.
O’Fallon was third with 43 points, Belleville West ended up fourth with 37, followed by Collinsville with 24, Alton with 23 and East St. Louis with nine.
The Tigers won two of the three levels of the doubles’ competition on the tournament’s first day on Friday. Annie McGinnis and Hannah Colbert won the number two doubles with a 6-1, 6-2 win over the Lancers’ Kaylin DelVecchio and Maddie Buschur, while Chloe Trimpe and Grace Hackett won the number three doubles crown over East’s Abigail and Mia McIssac 6-1, 6-3. The Lancers won the number one title as Chloe McIssac and JoJo Skaer defeated the Tigers’ Natalie Karibian and Abby Cimarolli 6-3, 6-1.
The two wins gave Edwardsville a 20-19 lead over East at the end of day one, with the Panthers in third with 14 and the Maroons in fourth with 13 points. The Kahoks were fifth with eight, the Redbirds had seven, and the Flyers last with three.
The six singles flights were played on Saturday, and both the Tigers and Lancers won three flights. Winning for Edwardsville were Cimarolli in the number three flight, defeating Abigail McIssac 7-5, 1-6, 10-8, Colbert in the number five flight 6-1, 6-3 over DelVecchio and Hackett in the number six flight, defeating Mia McIssac 6-2, 2-6, 10-7.
In the number one singles, Chloe McIssac won over Karibian in the final 6-2, 6-4, Skaer took the number two flight over Trimpe 6-2, 6-3 and in the number four flight, Buschur defeated McGinnis 6-0, 6-1, but McGinnis won her third-place match over the Maroons’ Natalie Soehnlin 6-2, 6-7, 10-7. The third-place wins for McGinnis gave the Tigers a critical point in the team standings.
All the conference teams, with the exception of East St. Louis, along with Granite City, Quincy, and Springfield High Schools, will play in the IHSA Class 2A Sectional tournament next weekend at East. Meanwhile, the Flyers will be in the Class 1A Sectional at Triad, along with Marquette Catholic, Civic Memorial, Metro-East Lutheran, Jersey, Roxana, the host Knights, and East Alton-Wood River. The top four finishers in both singles and doubles advance to the State tournament Oct. 18-20 at Buffalo Grove High School in suburban Chicago.