With three of the top singles players in the metro east in Zach Trimpe, Alex Gray and Erik Weiler, and the doubles combination of Trimpe and Gray, the Edwardsville Tigers won their 17th straight Southwestern Conference tennis title.
Edwardsville coach David Lipe is hoping for similar results at the Class 2A O’Fallon Sectional that begins Friday at O’Fallon High School.
In the first year of a two-class system for boys tennis, the IHSA grouped Southwestern Conference teams Edwardsville, Belleville East, Belleville West and O’Fallon into one sectional. Springfield High School is also in the eight-team field that begins play at 1 p.m. Friday.
“I think putting us all together in one sectional makes it more difficult to get all four of your entries through. Especially when you consider the number of high level players we have in this conference,” Lipe said. “O’Fallon, East and West and Alton, they’ve all got players who could advance to the state finals.”
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Fourth in the IHSA state finals a year ago in the doubles draw, Trimpe and Gray are expected to receive a high seed in doubles, while Belleville East sophomore Max Skaer is expected to be a top seed in singles.
The competition continues at 9 a.m. Saturday with the top four place winners in both singles and doubles advancing to the IHSA state tournament, May 25-27 in Arlington Heights.
Collinsville and Granite City are also in the field at O’Fallon.
Weather forced the Class A Triad Sectional to begin Thursday rather than Friday. Marquette, Althoff, Civic Memorial, Highland, Mascoutah, Triad, Roxana and Waterloo are competing.