The Althoff Crusaders left the Carbondale Terrier Girls Tennis Invitational last week with the unsettled feeling they didn’t give the tournament field their very best.
And so, said Althoff head coach Rusty Parker, there was a narrowed focus Saturday when his Crusaders faced the Terriers at the South Seven Conference Tournament.
With a “chip on their shoulders,” the Crusaders won five of six events to win their first ever conference championship.
It was the first time in as long as Parker could remember that Carbondale hadn’t captured the crown.
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Coming back Saturday and winning in the convincing way we did is a huge accomplishment. It was, across the board, the best tennis we have played.
Rusty Parker, Althoff girls tennis coach
“After the Carbondale tournament, there was the feeling that we were the better team, but just didn’t prove it,” Parker said. “Coming back Saturday and winning in the convincing way we did is a huge accomplishment.
“It was, across the board, the best tennis we have played.”
The format included fights in six events — four singles and two doubles. The only event the Crusaders didn’t win was at No. 4 singles, where Mary Nester fell in a 6-7, 6-1, 5-10 tie-breaker match to Carbondale junior Rachel Robinson.
Winning conference championships in other events were Emma Melichar at No. 1 singles, Madelyn Skinner at No. 2 singles, Olivia Melichar at No. 3 singles. In doubles events, Maria Davenroy and Lauren Borik were No. 1 champions and Kaitlynn Borik and Jordyn Roper were winners at No. 2.
Althoff plays its final regular season match Tuesday against Highland. It will be at the Belleville West Sectional beginning this Saturday.
South Seven Conference
No. 1 Singles: E. Melichar (Althoff) def. Bartle (Marion) 6-0, 6-0; def. Martin (Carbondale) 6-2, 6-3
No. 2 Singles: M. Kinner (Althoff ) def. Jain (Mount Vernon) 6-1, 6-4; def. Daneshdoost (Carbondale) 6-3, 1-6, 10-1
No. 3 Singles: O. Melichar (Althoff) def. Nair (Mount Vernon) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3; def. DiBiase (Carbondale, 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 Singles: M. Nester (Althoff) def. Jones (Centralia) 6-2, 6-2; lost to Robinson (Carbondale) 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 5-10
No. 1 Doubles: M. Davinroy-L. Borik (Althoff) def. Young-McCoy (Mount Vernon) 6-2, 6-0; def. Jones-VanWinkle (Carbondale) 6-2, 6-0
No. 2 Doubles: K. Borik-J. Roper (Althoff) def. Enrietto-Hill (Marion) 7-5, 6-2; def. Patel-Harper (Carbondale) 6-3, 6-2