Chalk up a "W" for the Pekin girls tennis team.
The Dragons defeated Mid-Illini Conference opponent East Peoria 7-2 on the road Tuesday, winning for the first time this season.
There's more good news.
"We've improved in each match, even if the score didn't show it," said Pekin coach Gary Garver, referencing 9-0 losses last week to Dunlap and Normal West.
Garver said the Dragons (1-2, 1-1) showed determination and guts in a couple of three-set wins against East Peoria.
Gina Olsen was involved in both wins. She won 5-7, 6-4, 10-3 at No. 6 singles and combined with Rachel Bresnahan to win 6-3, 4-6, 10-4 at No. 2 doubles.
Pekin's Jaclyn Mulvey (No. 1 singles, No. 1 doubles) and Kaitlin Dunn (No. 2 singles, No. 1 doubles) "started to play like the all-conference players they are with routine wins in both of their matches," Garver said.
Bresnahan cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles and freshman Amara Howell won 7-6 (3), 6-2 at No. 4 singles.
"We need to keep working hard and getting better with each match because the schedule won't get easier," Garver said.
The Dragons will play host to Peoria Notre Dame at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in a non-conference match at the John Moss Courts.
Here are the results of the Pekin-East Peoria match.
• No. 1 singles -- Jaclyn Mulvey (P) def. Kaufman 6-1, 6-1.
• No. 2 singles -- Kaitlin Dunn (P) def. Unes 6-2, 6-3.
• No. 3 singles -- Rachel Bresnahan (P) def. Matheny 6-0, 6-1.
• No. 4 singles -- Amara Howell (P) def. Robison 7-6 (3), 6-2.
• No. 5 singles -- Eaker (E) def. Zariah Wherry 6-4, 6-3.
• No. 6 singles -- Gina Olsen (P) def. Friend 5-7, 6-4, 10-3.
• No. 1 doubles -- Mulvey-Dunn (P) def. Unes-Robison 6-1, 6-2.
• No. 2 doubles -- Bresnahan-Olsen (P) def. Kaufman-Friend 6-3, 4-6, 10-4.
• No. 3 doubles -- Matheny-Eaker (E) def. Wherry-Lauraella Everhart 6-1, 6-4.
GHIDINA RETURNS: Pekin boys golfer Mason Ghidina had to bow out of the Geneseo Invitational after two holes Saturday because of a leg injury.
Ghidina was back at work Tuesday, shooting 39 and earning medalist honors to lead the host Dragons past Mid-Illini Conference rival East Peoria 162-185 on the front nine at Lick Creek.
Justin Taphorn (40), Jacob Hill (42) and Mason Minkel (42) also scored for Pekin. Jack Halstead (46) and Ethan Sullivan (47) also competed for the Dragons.
Reid Johnson (41) led the way for East Peoria. Austin Siegrist (46), Tanner Lang (47) and Matthew Cox (51) also scored for the Raiders. Dominick Hahn (52) and Dominic Fugitt (71) rounded out East Peoria's lineup.
The Dragons are off until Tuesday, when they will play at conference rival Morton.
DIFFERENT DRAGONS: The Pekin girls golf team won only one match last season, and it took the Dragons until late in the year to do it.
It's a new year, and a different Pekin team. The Dragons beat Mid-Illini Conference foe East Peoria 226-245 Tuesday on the front nine at Quail Meadows to push their overall and conference records above the .500 mark. They're 3-2, 2-1.
Pekin coach Chris Neville said juniors Madison Raines, Sarah Butler and Jaden Rogers stepped up Tuesday with the top of the Dragons' lineup struggling. Each shot a team-best 56. It was a career-low for Butler, who needed just 16 putts.
Summer Dick (58) also had a counting score for Pekin. Hannah McDonald (72) also competed for the Dragons.
Clarice Wolff (52), Shelby Davison (59), Kayonna Bolding (66) and Kaylee Leach (68) made up host East Peoria's lineup.
"We're playing better away from (home course) Lick Creek, which is a good sign because most of our dual matches and invitationals aren't at Lick this year," Neville said. "But we have two home matches next week and three days of practice to change things."
The Dragons will play host to conference foe Morton on Tuesday and non-conference opponents Peoria Notre Dame and Bloomington Central Catholic onSept. 7.
SOCCER LOSS: Dunlap dominated visiting Pekin 7-0 Tuesday in a Mid-Illini Conference boys soccer opener.
"With only 26 guys on our varsity and junior varsity teams, guys playing both games (on the same day), the varsity score is expected to be bad against a team like Dunlap," said Pekin coach Gus Kormah.
"We'll get back to work and get ready for our next game (Thursday on the road at non-conference opponent Peoria Richwoods)."
Ryan McMillian scored three goals and Angelo Flores had two goals for Dunlap against Pekin. Hudson Hazelwood and Albert Li had the other goals. Goalie Lucas Cross had five saves in recording the shutout.
Pekin goalie Mason McKnight made 15 saves.
PAIGE WINS: Normal Community defeated visiting Pekin 26-31 Tuesday in a girls cross country opener. Pekin's Paige Arseneau was first across the finish line in 12:23. The Dragons' Alex Bassin was third (12:54).
Pekin will compete Saturday in the Canton Invitational.
Steve Stein can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.