The Althoff High School tennis doubles combination of Mary Nester and Olivia Melichar put the finishing touch on a memorable weekend Saturday by winning their final two matches of the season and placing fifth at the IHSA Girls State Tennis Tournament.
Both sophomores, Nester and Melicher defeated Allison Kowalke and Claire Wortman, of Effingham St. Anthony, 6-3, 6-4 in the consolation bracket semifinals in their first match of the day. Kowalke and Wortman defeated Nester and Melichar in a third-round winners bracket match Friday morning.
In the fifth-place match , Nester and Melichar defeated Alyssa Gulli and Marnie Kopec, of Wheaton St. Francis, 6-3, 6-4. The win gave the Crusaders pair a 7-1 record at the 2017 state finals and earned them first team all-state recognition.
This marks the second straight season Althoff has had an all-state doubles team. Last season, Emma Melichar, older sister of Olivia Melichar, combined with Madelyn Skinner to place fourth at state.