Maroons, Tigers set to conclude Wednesday

News-DemocratSeptember 17, 2013 

— The two top tennis programs in southern Illinois -- Edwardsville and Belleville West -- collided on Tuesday at the Edwardsville High School Tennis Complex.

And for at least now its a draw.

A light drizzle and an ominous forecast of more precipitation for the rest of the evening caused play to be suspended with the score tied at 3-3 heading into the doubles competition.

"The forecast was for rain to start at about 6 p.m. and it was pretty close," longtime Tigers coach David Lipe said. "Of course we were hoping to get the entire match in but we'll just come back tomorrow and start from where we left off."

The match will resume at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Edwardsville High School. Two doubles matches were in the early stages of the first set and the third match had yet to begin.

West, which entered the match with a 5-1 record, won the first three singles flights.

Junior Kayleigh Thurwalker, the 2012 Belleville News--Democrat player of the Year, defeated Edwardsville's Callaghan Adams 6-1, 6-4 in a battle of elite No. 1 players.

Seniors Blair Hollenbeck and Gabi Papachrisanthou also scored straight set wins for the Maroons three victories.

West's first-year coach Jenny Mennerick said she was pleased with the effort of all her players.

"I thought our players at the top of the lineup came out and played very well and even though we came up short, we came out and were very competitive in the other three matches," Mennericks said. "It's disappointing that we didn't get to finish but we'll come back tomorrow (Wednesday) and hopefully play well enough to win two of the three doubles matches.

Edwardsville (9-3) got wins from Mallory Abert, Maddie Lombardi and Emma Lipe.

"I thought our girls came out and at times they all played well in their matches. But could we have played better? Yes," Lipe said. "Belleville West is obviously a very good team and sometimes, your opponent dictates how well you play. We'll come out on Wednesday and hopefully play well in doubles."

Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or

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