Edwardsville High School freshman Zach Trimpe outlasted Belleville East freshman Max Skaer 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 to help Edwardsville claim a 16th straight Southwestern Conference title on Saturday at the Edwardsville Tennis Complex.
The Tigers, who will go for a 16th straight sectional title next week,won eight of nine flights and finished with 69 points, 13 better than Belleville West.
The Maroons, who ended the Tigers dream of a perfect weekend when Derek Henke won the No. 4 singles division, finished with 56 points. O’Fallon (55 points) and Belleville East (53) rounded out the top four teams.
Edwardsville has now either won or tied for every SWC tennis championship since 2000.
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“I’m very pleased to have won the match against Max (Skaer). He’s a good player and hopefully we can get a good rivalry going between us in the next three years,” Trimpe said.
“Winning in Naperville last week gave us the confidence that we can compete and win against the top teams in the state. I thought we played very well here today and also yesterday (Friday) in doubles.”
Edwardsville put the tournament away by beating Belleville East at the No. 2 and No 3 flights. Alex Gray defeated the Lancers Christian Cowulich 6-2, 6-3 in the No.2 singles final and Erik Weiler defeated Austin Klug in straight sets in the No. 3 singles final.
The three wins at the top of the lineup were big for Edwardsville which, despite losing the No. 4 singles final, were not pushed the rest of the day as Luke Motley won the No. 5 singles final while Carson Ware took the No. 6 singles.
While Belleville East finished fourth in the team standings, it provided Edwardsville with its biggest challenges on Saturday.
A good day for the Lancers
After watching his son fall just short in the final with Trimpe, Belleville East coach Dan Skaer said he was pleased with the overall effort of his top three players.
“He (Max) had a great weekend and I thought he played well against Trimpe. It’s going to be fun watching those two play each other the next three years,” Dan Skaer said. “Christian (Cowulich) and Austin Klug have played great all year. Today was just a continuation of that.”
Trimpe and Gray won the No. 1 doubles flight, defeating Skaer and Cowulich 7-5, 6-3, while Weiler and Motley (No. 2 ) and Ware and Seth Lipe won the No. 3 doubles crown to give Edwardsville the sweep.