High School Sports

Strong team effort helps Belleville East clinch city title

Belleville East’s Lauren Buschur returns the ball during her match against Belleville West’s Grace Bauer at Belleville East on Wednesday. See a gallery of photographs at bnd.com.
Belleville East’s Lauren Buschur returns the ball during her match against Belleville West’s Grace Bauer at Belleville East on Wednesday. See a gallery of photographs at bnd.com. znizami@bnd.com

Two Belleville East players with totally different approaches to the game, Chloe McIsaac and Isabel Burwitz, continued their domination of the Southwestern Conference on Wednesday. And the Lancers continued to dominate high school girls tennis in Belleville.

Two of the top players in southern Illinois, Burwitz and McIsaac swept to straight set wins in singles then combined with teammates to win in doubles as the the Lancers clinched a third straight Belleville girls tennis championship with an 8-1 win over Belleville West at Belleville East High School.

In week which has featured a win at the Bloomington Gold Tournament and a hard-fought 5-4 win over O’Fallon on Tuesday, the Lancers (15-3) had their way with a young but improving Maroons squad.

And it was Burwitz, who defeated Madison Kokotovich 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 1 singles flight, and McIsaac, whose 6-0, 6-0 win over Jillian Rosenkranz at No. 2 singles, who led the way.

‘”I guess you could say they are the top two players in the Southwestern Conference right now,” East coach Ross Peters said. “They are both leaders and while they play two different style of games, they are interchangable at the top of our lineup. They are both No. 1 players and they proved it again today.”

Lauren Buschur, Carolyn Kriegshauser and Susan Shin also won singles matches, losing just eight games in six sets, as they swept the No. 3 through 5 singles flights for East.

Belleville West avoided a shutout in singles and against the Lancers when Isabel Papachrisanthou defeated Carolyn Smith 7-5, 1-6, 10-7 in the No. 6 singles flight.

“We were without two of our starters and so we had to move the lineup around a little bit. But I was pleased at how we played throughout the entire team,” Peters said. “It’s nice to have Isabel and Chloe at the top, but this is a team and all year long we’ve had girls step up and play well for us.

“Today was no exception. Everybody contributed to us clinching the city title. It’s a nice honor to be the best in Belleville. We knew coming into the year that Althoff had a strong team and we were able to beat them. And Belleville West has a very young team which is getting better as the season goes on. We had to play well and that’s what we did.”

While Papachrisanthou’s win was the only point the Maroons would score, West coach Jenny Mennerick wasn’t discouraged.

“I’m very happy for Isabel. This was a nice way for her to start her varsity career,’’ Mennerick said. “I still really like this team and the way we’re playing. We’re getting better,’’ Mennerick said. “What is comes down to is experience. A lot of these teams have just played more matches at the varsity level than we have. It’s that simple.”

East sweeps doubles

Kriegshauser and McIsaac led the Lancers swep in the doubles draw. The Lancers’ top pair on Wednesday defeated Kokotovich and Rosenkranz 6-2, 6-0.

Also winning doubles matches for East were Burwitz and Buscher (No. 2 flight) and Shin and Maddy Hamilton (No. 3 doubles).

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