The Edwardsville High School doubles tandem of Zach Trimpe and Alex Gray moved into the semifinals of the Class AA State Tennis Tournament with a pair of victories Friday in suburban Chicago.
Seeded first in the doubles bracket and with only one loss all season heading into the state finals, Trimpe and Gray defeated Bill Zhang and Martin Matov, of Naperville Central, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7-4) in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals for the second straight year. The Tigers duo will play Jack Armstrong and Connor Polender, of Lake Forest High School, in one of two semifinals beginning at 8 a.m. at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights.
The third-place and championship matches will follow. Trimpe and Gray placed fourth in doubles in 2016, the final year of the Illinois High School Association’s one class system for boys tennis.
While Trimpe and Gray advanced, four other Class AA athletes from the metro-east were eliminated Friday. In Class AA, Belleville East sophomore Max Skaer defeated Kevin Wacnik, of Palos Hills (Stagg), 6-1, 6-1 in his first match Friday but lost to Quinten Nevenhoven, of Rockford Auburn, 6-2, 6-3 in a fourth-round consolation match. Edwardsville sophomore Seth Lipe lost to Lawrence Hiquiana, of Downers Grove North, 6-2, 6-0 in his only match Friday.
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The Belleville East doubles team of Carter Baldus and Christian Cowulich lost their only match to Van Fairbanks and Nick Charlton-Perrin, of Glenbrook North, 6-7, 6-3, 10-5. The Belleville West pair of Drew Boyles and Derek Henke finished 3-2 in the state finals after losing to Kirk Williams and Sam Liu, of Naperville North, 6-1, 1-6, 12-10.
In consolation bracket play, all third sets are played as 10-point tiebreakers.
Althoff senior Donovan McKnight remains in contention for a possible top-five finish after splitting a pair of matches on Friday. McKnight defeated Kevin Zhang, of Chatham-Glenwood, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in his third round match but lost in the quarterfinals to Anderson Park, of Belvidere North, 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. McKnight will take on Dorath Chamarthi, of Normal University High School, in a consolation round match at Rolling Meadows High School on Saturday morning.
McKnight could still place as high as fifth in the singles bracket.
Mascoutah junior Andy Graf lost his third-round match to Raymond Richardson, of Chicago De La Salle, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4; defeated Mike Dowling, of Woodstock Marian, 6-0, 6-0; and then was eliminated from the tournament with a 6-3, 6-1 setback to Bert Cao, of the Illinois Math and Science Academy. Mascoutah teammate Zach Harris lost to John Pooley, of DePaul College Prep, 6-2, 6-4.
The Triad Knights doubles combination of Sean Froidcouer and Brendan Grigg defeated Faraz Longi and Peter Rogers, of Lemont, 6-4, 6-2 before losing to Joe Andrews and Jeff Andrews, of Bensonville Fenton, 5-7, 6-2, 10-2.