Nobody from the Pekin girls tennis team qualified for the state tournament from the Class 2A Normal Community Sectional, but coach Gary Garver liked what he saw from his players.

“The draw gods weren’t kind to us, and I was proud of the effort from everyone,” he said.

Pekin’s Zariah Wherry faced the No. 2 seed from Danville in singles and dropped a 6-0, 6-2 decision.

Ashley Stilling of the Dragons beat an unseeded Rock Island opponent 6-2, 6-1 in her first singles match before running into the No. 1 seed from Danville in the semifinals. Stilling lost 6-1, 6-1.

“Ashley played well against the girl from Danville. She made her hit a lot of balls,” Garver said. “Not bad for a sophomore getting her first taste of sectional competition.

“Our two singles players lost to the top two sectional seeds. That’s nothing to be ashamed about.”

Pekin’s Kaitlin Dunn and Jaclyn Mulvey beat a Peoria Central team 6-0, 6-0 in their first doubles match, then ran into the No. 4 seed from Moline and lost 6-1, 6-1.

“The Moline match was closer than the score indicates,” Garver said.

Rachel Bresnahan and Amara Howell, the Dragons’ other doubles team, fell 6-3, 6-3 to a Danville team.

Sectionals tournament were held last weekend. The state finals are this week in the Chicago suburbs.


Steve Stein can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.