Edwardsville tennis gears up for Southwest Conference tournament this weekend


Tuesday’s weather had Edwardsville’s Colton Hulme feeling like he was on cloud nine.

In first-place singles, second won their match 6-1, 6-1 to give EHS a 9-0 win over Belleville West at the Edwardsville Tennis Center on a sunny, nearly 90-degree day.

EHS improves to 12-8 on the season, including 4-0 in the Southwest Conference.

“It’s been a good season,” Hulme said. “I improved with each practice and the parallel training helped me. My match today proved that the teams’ training is good.

EHS started the day strong, winning all three doubles.

The #1 doubles team of Jade Dynamic and Michael Karibian won 8-1, the #2 team of Hulme and Jesse Hattrup won 8-1 and the #3 team of Jace Ackerman and Sam Motley won 8-1. won 8-0.

“It’s a good team environment with a lot of positive energy,” Hattrup said.

As a freshman on the team, Hattrup said the upperclassmen helped prepare him for the Southwest Conference tournament this Friday and Saturday.

“I feel pretty good right now,” Hattrup said. “I just try to stay sharp and practice as much as possible.”

Hattrup was in second place against the Maroons, winning 6-0, 6-0.

“I like our team spirit and our tenacity,” said EHS coach David Lipe. “We could have bent and let the games get closer, but we took control. Belleville West fought hard every game. I knew their No. 1 singles and doubles would be tough, and our kids played well.

Dynamic won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3, Karibian won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4, Ackerman won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 5 and Motley won 6- 1, 6 -1 at #6.

Ackerman said he felt like today was a day he had one of his best controls this season.

“I feel really smooth and calm and serene,” Ackerman said. “I didn’t get too angry. I just played and did well. I will try to keep doing the same for the next two weeks and end the season on a high note.

As a senior, Ackerman is at that point in the season where he gets sentimental about his tennis journey, which drives him to dig in and try even harder for every point.

“I have no regrets with tennis,” Ackerman said. “I’m ready for the next thing. I look forward to attending the conference this weekend.

The draws to determine the matchups and venues for the SWC tournament will take place on Friday afternoon. Friday is for doubles and Saturday is for singles.

“They’re a great Edwardsville team and we’re using that as an improvement,” Belleville West coach Kelcie Comley said. “We saw a lot of perseverance today. Playing with teams like Edwardsville just makes us stronger.

EHS will defend its SWC title streak, which currently stands at 20. EHS has won every SWC title since 2001 except 2020. There was no conference tournament in 2020 due to COVID.

Following the SWC tournament, the Edwardsville Class 2A section will take place May 20-21 and the IHSA State Tournament will take place May 26-28.

“The boys are fine,” Hulme said. “Everyone is improving and doing good.”

EHS hosts O’Fallon at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday before the SWC tournament.

“We’re going to enjoy this one tonight and then prepare for a strong team in O’Fallon,” Lipe said. “I am proud of this team.

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