Tigers post clean sweep at SWC boys tennis meet

News-DemocratMay 11, 2013 

— Edwardsville High School tennis coach David Lipe will be the first to say his Tigers' squad was far from perfect during the 2013 regular season.

But this weekend at the Southwestern Conference Tournament, Edwardsville really was perfect.

Brandon Harris ran past Belleville East's Aaron Skaer 6-0, 6-0 in a battle of elite singles players and the Tigers' deep and talented lineup did the rest as Edwardsville romped to its 13th straight SWC title on Saturday at O'Fallon High School.

Edwardsville did not lose a set in any of the nine titles matches as it finished with 72 points, 10 more than East.

"I'm sure you guys are going to want to know who stood out for us today. Well, I can't single anyone out. Everybody went out and played well. It was a great team effort,'' Lipe said. "Brandon (Harris) went out and beat (Belleville) East's No. 1 player and a very good player in (Aaron) Skaer 6-0, 6-0. He played well but so did everyone.

"The (Southwestern) conference had a lot of good players in it this year. I felt this season that there was probably as much parity in the league as there has been in a while.''

Jack Desse defeated East's Lucas Birk, 6-4, 6-0 in the No. 2 singles final, while Tigers teammate Jake Gingerich defeated West's Adam Seppi, 6-1, 6-1 for the No. 3 singles title.

Seppi was the only player not from Edwardsville or East to reach a title match.

Edwardsville's Logan Ware, Jared Zurliene and Zach Bryant claimed the Nos. 4 through 6 singles flights.

Ware defeated Zach Fields 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4, Zurliene downed Adam Youck 6-2 7-5 at No. 5 and Bryant beat Jacob Hamliton 7-5, 6-3 at No. 6 singles.

"They (Edwardsville) are good,'' East coach Dan Skaer said. "I thought we had a chance and we were right with them at the number four through six spots. We just fell short.

"I thought we played well to get to the finals in eight of the nine flights, and we went 6-0 in matches that went into a third set or a third-set tiebreaker. I can't ask for much more,''

And Lipe couldn't ask more of Harris, who missed the 2012 postseason with an injury.

On Saturday, Harris put on a shot-making clinic in his straight-set win over Skaer.

"We've played a few times this year and it's tough because we know how each other play. We both know what the other's strengths and weaknesses are,'' Harris said. "I tried to mix things up a little more today. It worked well. I thought I played a good match.''

Edwardsville also swept the three doubles flights, which were played Friday.

Desse and Ware defeated Lucas Birk and Adam Youck 6-3, 6-3 in the No. 1 flight while Gingerich and Zurliene defeated Chase Stumne and Jacob Hamilton 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles.

Harris and Bryant defeated Aaron Skaer and Spencer Smith 6-0, 6-4 in the No. 3 doubles match.

Alton and Belleville West tied for third place with 46 points apiece. O'Fallon was fifth with 44.

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