Women’s tennis Father McGivney made her debut and took eighth place in the tournament at Alton


Father McGivney’s women’s tennis program made its debut Saturday at the Andy Simpson Doubles Tournament.

The Griffins didn’t wait long for their first victory.

The No. 1 doubles team of Kennedi Taylor and Natalie Beck beat Collinsville’s Alyssa Garcia and Toby Hawkes 6-1, 6-0 in the first round of their steal to earn the program’s first ever win on the tennis courts .

“It was a lot of fun,” Taylor and Beck said in unison.

Taylor and Beck finished in fifth place in the first double flight.

As a team, Father McGivney scored 18 points to finish eighth in the 12-team field that was played at Lewis and Clark Community College, Alton High School and Gordon Moore Park.

Jersey swept all four flights and finished in first place with 48 points, while Highland was second with 38 points and Greenville was third with 37 points.

Taylor and Beck paved the way for the Griffins on Saturday.

After opening with the win, the two fell to Tara Depositer and Grace Johnson of Bradley-Bourbonnais in a third-set tiebreaker before bouncing back to win 6-1, 6-3 over Anna Brady and Lydia Taul of ‘Alton in the semi-finals for fifth place.

“The girls were excited. There were some nerves from them. I was thrilled to see those freshmen take their first win,” said FMCHS coach Callaghan Adams.

In the match for fifth place, Taylor and Beck won the first set before the Rochester team retired in the second.

Both Taylor and Beck are freshmen. Saturday was the first time they played together.

“It’s fun. I like doubles a lot. I’m able to bond more with my teammates and there’s not as much pressure as in singles,” Taylor said.

Beck added: “Kennedi is a very good teammate and we work well together. She’s really good at volleys and I’m good at forehands and backhands.

The No. 3 doubles team of Sienna Strehl and Brynn Hawkins also enjoyed success on Saturday. They went 2-3 and finished in seventh place.

Strehl and Hawkins picked up a first-round win over Rochester and won their seventh-place match against Bradley-Bourbonnais.

Maddie Beck and Lily Forneris at No. 2 doubles and Evie Sturdivant and Emma Kreiger at No. 4 doubles also played for father McGivney on Saturday.

Father McGivney added women’s and men’s tennis to his growing sports community this year. Adams, a former standout at EHS, was named the program’s first coach.

“I was thrilled they added tennis and I was really thrilled Callaghan was brought in as coach,” Taylor said. “I’ve known Callaghan all my life, so that’s really nice. When I started, she was my personal trainer.

Like Taylor, Beck is thrilled to have Adams as his coach.

“Callaghan is a very good coach. She knows what she’s talking about and she helps us with whatever we need,” Beck said.

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