Illness took its toll on the Panther tennis team this weekend but, despite missing some of its top members the team managed to place fourth at the Belleville East Invitational.
Both Riley Muren and Shree Patel were absent from the courts at East this weekend due to illness. Patel and Muren play together as the Panther’s number one double pairing and fill the two and three slots in singles. Although the Panthers were without some of their top talent, the team still managed to have a good weekend on the courts and finished in fourth place at the sixteen team invite.
“The boys played really well and stepped up,” said head coach Erin Thoman.
O’Fallon sophomore Dominic Macaluso aced his way through the singles bracket to take first place in the tournament. Macaluso defeated Carbondale junior Alex Lescoulie in three sets in the championship final. After winning the opening set 6-4, Macaluso faltered in the second set 4-6. In the third and final set, Macaluso elevated his game to finish off Lescoulie 6-2.
Also having a strong finish in the Lancer Invitational was Panther sophomore Quincy Dollison in the number five singles bracket. Dollison rolled past Alton and Normal Community, dropping only two games in the first two rounds of the tournament. In the semi-final round, Dollison defeated Belleville East’s Carter Baidus in a heated three set match. Early on Dollison struggled against Baidus, losing the opening set 1-6 but rallied back to win set two 6-1 and set three 10-8. In the championship match Dollison lost 6-0, 7-6 to Belleville West senior Sam Calhoun.
Collectively the shortened Panther roster totaled 29 points in their fourth place finish. Belleville West took home the title in first while Carbondale finished second and Peoria Richwoods ended in third. OTHS finished six points ahead of Belleville East.
This weekend O’Fallon will travel to compete in Champaign on Friday and Saturday.