Tennis girls smash at sectional

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Girls tennis players from Waterloo and Gibault competed at the IHSA Class 1A Althoff Sectional to conclude the season.

The local highlight of the sectional was Waterloo’s No. 1 doubles team of Haley Storm/Kailey Walter placing third to earn the designation of state qualifier. 

The IHSA canceled the state tennis meet this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Storm/Walter won its first two matches against doubles teams from Wood River and Roxana on Friday. On Saturday, Storm/Walter lost 6-2, 6-4 to the top seeded pair of Makenna John/Savannah Milsap of Althoff before ending with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Civic Memorial’s Hannah Butkovich/Kennedy Loewen.

Storm is a senior; Walter is a sophomore.

“Neither player had much playing time in the varsity lineup last year,” Waterloo head coach Brett Ivers said. “Both worked extremely hard this season. I am very sad to see Haley graduate. She has been a solid leader to our team. Kailey is only a sophomore and is already one of the top players in the area. I am extremely excited to see what she will be able to do next year. Kailey has been training all year and it shows. Her dedication to tennis is apparent in her play and in her results.”

In other action from the sectional, Waterloo’s Rory Bradley and Maria Willson dropped their singles matches.

“Rory and Maria had tough draws,” Ivers said. They both played good tennis. They are both seniors and will be missed next year. They provided great depth to our team.”

The Waterloo doubles pair of Teagan Nodorft/Rylee Ivers won an opening match, 6-0, 6-1 over a Metro-East Lutheran team but lost in the qualifying match to Roxana’s Stephanie Kamp/Lindsey Ratcliff. The score was 6-4, 7-6.

“Teagan and Rylee played beautiful doubles on Friday and just missed a chance to be state qualifiers as sophomores,” Coach Ivers said. “This was the closest match of the tournament and it could have gone either way. Teagan and Rylee played their very best tennis of the year and had a great match. I am excited to see what they will be able to accomplish next year.”

Waterloo finished in a tie for third place at the sectional.

Gibault senior Maddie Davis also played well at the sectional. The No. 1 singles player for the Hawks much of the season, Davis advanced past the first round Friday with an upset victory over Aubrey Hunter of Marquette. She won 6-4, 7-5.

Davis lost her next match to Ella Mostoller of Mascoutah.

Gibault had six players compete at the sectional, with Davis the only won advancing past the first round.

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