The dominant girls high school tennis program outside of suburban Chicago — the Edwardsville Tigers continued to roll on a weekend the Illinois High School Association unveiled the two-class system for tennis in Illinois.
Expected to receive a 5-8 seed when the Class 2A State Girls Tennis Tournament pairings are released on Tuesday, Edwardsville’s Grace Desse and Morgan Colbert blitzed past Isabel Burwitz and Chloe McIsaac 6-1, 6-1 of Belleville East to win the doubles crown and lead the way for Edwardsville which won the Class 2A Belleville East Tennis Sectional on Saturday.
The Southwestern Conference champion Tigers finished play in the two day tournament with 33 points, 10 more than O’Fallon (23). Host Belleville East was third with 18 points.
The title by Desse and Colbert was just one of several bright spots for Edwardsville which advanced six players into the Class 2A State Tournament which begins on Thursday in suburban Chicago.
Also winning a sectional title for Edwardsville was Natalie Karibian who defeated Mackenzie Shelton of O’Fallon 6-1, 6-1 to win the singles title at Belleville East. Also advancing to the state finals from Edwardsville are Mackenzie Cadagin and Maria Mezo in doubles and Abby Cimarolli in singles.
O’Fallon advanced Shelton and Katie Halwachs in singles and the doubles team of Miley Brunner and Kate Macaluso who placed fourth in doubles. McIsaac and Burwitz are the lone representatives from Belleville East.
The top four singles and doubles teams in all sectionals advance to the state finals.
Class A Triad Sectional
Looking to put the finishing touch on excellent high school careers, Althoff seniors Emma Melichar and Madelyn Skinner took the first step on Saturday by winning the doubles crown at the Class 1A Triad Sectional.
The South Seven Conference champions, Melichar and Skinner defeated Ashton Tewell and Anne Snyders of Jerseyville 6-3, 6-2 in the title match. Althoff also got a third place finish from sophomores Mary Nester and Olivia Melichar as it finished with 23 points, five more than host Triad.
First year Althoff coach Brian Zaron will take both teams to the state finals which begins on Thursday in suburban Chicago.
Also advancing to state was Triad senior Kylie McCarthy who breezed to the sectional singles crown. A four-year standout for the Knights, McCarthy defeated Emma Wieland of Mascoutah 6-0, 6-0 in the final. McCarthy lost just one game in four matches this weekend.
Highland’s Kirsten Plocher and Elisabeth Meadows also advanced to state with a fourth place finish in doubles.