GODFREY – Hannah Macias saved the best for last on Saturday at the Alton Invitational Tournament.
With her shirt soaked with sweat, the Alton sophomore ended the tournament with a come-from-behind, three-set victory over Triad’s Cathy Catalano in the No. 2 singles championship. Macias won 3-6, 7-6, 10-6 to become the lone Alton player to win a championship in the eight-team tournament at Lewis and Clark Community College and Alton High School.
“It’s a huge confidence booster,” Macias said. “It goes to show you that you can do anything if you work really hard.”
Singles matches were played at the Andy Simpson Tennis Center at LCCC and doubles matches were played at AHS.
The Macias-Catalano match was the last one played at the Alton tournament, which lasted eight hours.
“It’s always fun to have the last match to be a close one and it was,” Alton interim coach Jesse Macias said. “It was a championship match. She lost the first one (set) and battled back. It was a great match either way.”
Alton placed second with 43 points and earn a team trophy. The Redbirds scored points in four singles flights and three doubles flights.
“I was pretty excited,” Hannah Macias said. “The team really worked hard to get a trophy.”
Triad won the tournament with 52 points. The Knights won championships in three singles and two doubles flights.
“(Triad coach Devan) Faulkenberg is a great coach,” Jesse Macias said. “They’re really deep and they showed it today.”
Marquette Catholic, which won the Alton tournament the last two years, finished fifth with 31 points. Abby Simonds and Maria Wendle finished second in No. 3 and 4 singles, respectively, Annie Tassinari placed third in No. 2 singles and Shelby Jones was fourth in No. 1 singles. The No. 1 doubles team of Allison Peuterbaugh and Eleonore Scroggins came in sixth.
“We did good considering that we had some injuries and not everyone making it today,” Tassinari said. “But those who played stepped up and did good.”
Tassinari, a senior, defeated Highland’s Elisabeth Meadows 6-4, 6-4 in the No. 2 singles third-place match.
“It’s awesome that I finally placed,” Tassinari said.
Civic Memorial placed seventh with 19.5 points. The Eagles got fifth-place finishes in three flights, including in No. 4 singles from sophomore Jenna Robinson.
Robinson defeated Jersey’s Ashley Spencer 6-4, 7-5 in the consolation championship match. She began tournament play with two-set loss to Triad’s Christine Catalano, who went on to win the championship.
“I was kind of nervous because he told me that I was going to be playing Triad’s No. 4 player and I’m the No. 7 for our school,” Robinson said.
Granite City finished eighth with 14.5 points. Juniors Maya Ware and Kayla Bridick turned in the Warriors’ highest finish, placing fifth in No. 1 doubles.
“It feels good to place,” Ware said. “It’s a really tough tournament.”
Ware and Briddick defeated Peuterbaugh Scroggins 6-3, 2-6, 11-9 in the consolation championship match. In the third set, Ware and Briddick led 5-1 before Peuterbaugh and Scroggins came back to tie it at 9-9. Then, the Granite City doubles team closed it out with two straight points.
“It was really hard,” Ware said. “The whole match was really tough. We were really even with them the entire time.”
Highland was third with 39 points, Jersey placed fourth with 31.5 and Collinsville finished sixth with 21.5.
Alton also got second-place finishes from junior Abby Fischer in No. 1 singles and their No. 3 doubles team of Nicki Lowe and Mallory Gross. The Redbirds finished third in No. 1 doubles and fourth in No. 3 and No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles.
“I was really excited because I’m proud of all of the girls on the team,” said Fischer, who won a title at No. 2 singles last year. “We really worked hard this season. We lost a lot of players last year, but I’m happy with how we like getting through it and making the best of the season.”
Hannah Macias won her first Alton tournament championship on Saturday. A year ago, she lost in the No. 4 singles championship match to Marquette’s Adri Ventigmilia.
“I thought I had a chance to win,” Macias said. “I just had to work hard for it.”
So far, the second-place finish at the Alton tournament has been the biggest highlight of the season for the Redbirds.
“It’s been kind of a long year,” Jesse Macias said. “We’ve been up and down this year, so it’s nice to see consistent play. It’s great effort from all of the girls. I’m proud of it.”
The Redbirds are 4-6 this season. They will return to action on Wednesday, when they play Duchesne High at St. Charles, Mo.
“We want to keep playing consistent,” Jesse Macias said. “We lost some matches, but I’m fine with it because the effort was there, but we want to stay consistent and keep building and get into conference (play) and compete there. We still have O’Fallon, Belleville West, Collinsville and Garnite City, so we really want to get better as we compete in conference. If we do that, we’ll see how sectionals look. We’ll go into sectionals feeling good, but we have to get up in conference a little.”
Civic Memorial is 5-8 and will play Marquette on Wednesday at home. Marquette’s next match will be Monday against Hillsboro at LCCC and Granite City travels to Althoff on Monday.