BELLEVILLE — The Belleville East Lancers will enter their own Belleville East Invitational tennis tournament on Friday with a 21-2 dual-meet record and riding a two-tournament winning streak.
But coach Dan Skaer isn't the least bit surprised.
"I knew we had a chance to be really strong this season,'' Skaer said. "Last year, when everybody was saying how good we were, I told the kids that if they went out during the summer, played tournaments and worked on their games, that we had a chance to be even better this season.
"They did that and now we've won three tournaments in the last four weeks.''
The Lancers will be out for title No. 4 beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday, when the 2013 East Invitational begins with the doubles competition.
Clayton (Mo.) and Peoria Richwoods look to be the Lancers chief rivals during the 16-team two-day event, which wraps up Saturday, with singles beginning at 8:30 a.m.
"Clayton has two really strong singles players who are among the best in the Missouri Valley (Circuit) and I know (Peoria) Richwoods has a good No. 1 singles player,'' Skaer said. "West, O'Fallon and Alton also have strong players.''
East won the Moline Invitational last week after winning two tournaments hosted by Triad High School earlier in the season.
Event: Belleville East Invitational tennis tournament
Dates and times: Friday (doubles competition), 2 p.m.; Saturday (singles), 8:30 a.m.
Sites: Belleville East, Belleville West, Althoff, and O'Fallon tennis courts.
Teams: Centralia, Althoff, Edwardsville 'B' team, Peoria Richwoods, Quincy Notre Dame, Carbondale, Alton, Granite City, Quincy, O'Fallon, Belleville West, Clayton (Mo.), Highland, Effingham, Belleville East 'A' and Belleville West 'B'.
Favorites: Belleville East 'A', Clayton, (Mo.) and Peoria Richwoods.