Belleville East junior Chloe McIsaac won the singles tennis championship Saturday to lead the Lancers to a stunning upset of Edwardsville at the Class 2A Edwardsville Sectional.
One week after capturing her second straight Southwestern Conference singles title, McIsaac won the final three games to defeat Natalie Karibian, of Edwardsville, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3. The win by McIsaac gave East 28 points, two more than perennial state power and SWC champion Edwardsville.
The win also ends the streak of 20 straight sectional titles won by Edwardsville. The last time Edwardsville did not win the sectional title was in the 1996 season.
“This means a lot. We’ve been here (Edwardsville Tennis Complex) many times, and in most cases, it was Edwardsville which came out on top,” Lancers coach Ross Peters said. “But today we were able to get it done. To be able to win it here makes it a little more special.”
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McIsaac led 3-0 in the third set before Karibian won three games to even the set at 3. After holding serve, McIsaac broke Karibian’s serve to take a 5-3 lead before winning the match.
“Of course it had to go three sets,” a relieved McIsaac said, smiling. “When I was up 3-0 in the third set, she (Karibioan) raised her game and just hit some great winners. I just had to regain my focus and keep playing my game. I was able to do that.”
McIsaac and Karibian are two of four Class 2A players who advance to the IHSA State Girls Tennis Tournament that begins Thursday in suburban Chicago. Also advancing were Belleville East senior Isabel Burwitz, who placed third, and Quincy sophomore Olivia Clayton, who placed fourth.
The Edwardsville duo of Grace Desse and Abby Cimarolli coasted to the doubles championship,. Expected to earn a 5-8 seed at the state finals, Desse and Cimarolli defeated Miley Brunner and Kate Macaluso, of O’Fallon, 6-3, 6-1 in the final. Also advancing were Jo Jo Skaer and Madison Hamilton, of Belleville East, who placed third, and Kaitlyn Fiedler and Taylor Fiedler, of Belleville West.
Class 1A Althoff Sectional
The Althoff Crusaders won both the singles and doubles championship, but it was the depth of the Triad Knights that made the difference in a three-point win.
Althoff junior Jordyn Roper defeated Triad’s Meghan Dulaney 6-2, 6-1 to win the singles title, while Crusaders juniors Olivia Melichar and Mary Nester won the doubles championship with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Hannah Hudson and Chelsea Mang, of Jerseyville.
Triad sophomore Caitlyn Smith was the only other local player to advance to the Class 1A state tournament. Smith placed third in singles for the Knights, who finished with 23 points.
The Class 1A state finals begin Thursday in suburban Chicago.
Class 1A Centralia Sectional
Highland sophomore Taylor Fleming won the singles title to lead the Bulldogs to a one-point win over Flora at the Centralia sectional.
Fleming defeated teammate Mia Walters 6-0, 6-0 in the final to lead the way for Highland, which finished with 26 points. The Bulldogs also got a second-place finish in doubles from Kirsten Plocher and Kate Feldmann.
Mascoutah’s Ella Mostoller earned a trip to the state finals by placing third in singles.