BELLEVILLE — One year ago as an assistant coach at Belleville West, Jenny Mennerick watched as Belleville East first-year coach Ross Peters led the Lancers to a win over the Maroons for the Belleville city tennis title.
On Wednesday, it became Mennerick's turn to win a city crown on her first try.
West junior Kayleigh Thurwalker remained undefeated with a straight-sets win over Lancers senior Rebecca McIsaac and five teammates also won in straight sets as the Maroons clinched a victory in the annual city showdown.
Also getting a win from its No. 2 doubles team of Thurwalker and Kaylie Comley, the Maroons held a 7-0 lead at West High School when play was suspended by darkness with two matches still to be completed
The final two matches will be finished today at 4 p.m. at West.
But on this night, the outcome was decided early as the Maroons dominated in singles.
"I'm very happy. It's always great to come out and win a city championship,'' said Mennerick who replaced Bob Keefe as coach before the 2013 season. "We knew we had to come out and be at our best from the first point on and we did that today.
"I'm hoping we'll come out tomorrow (Thursday) and play the same way as we did today."
Senior Blair Hollenbeck defeated Sophie Von Hatten 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles and senior Gabi Papachrisanthou ousted Hannah Bastar 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 singles for the Maroons, who also got wins from Comley, Maddie Woodrome and Keely Lougeay.
"Kayleigh (Thurwalker) came out and played very well against a good player in Rebecca (McIsaac). Blair (Hollenbeck) played very well," Mennerick said, "and Gabi (Papachrisanthou) had a tough first set and then came back and played well in the second set,''
"The other players at Nos. 4 through 6, also played very well. It was a good effort.''
But not for the Lancers, who have been without two of its top three singles players in Martin and Rylan Lopez, because of health issues and injuries for the entire season.
Martin is able to play doubles with McIsaac and the duo is one of the best in the metro-east.
But against the firepower of the Maroons, the Lancers had no answers.
"It's disappointing because we just didn't play the way we would have liked,'' Peters said. "We tried and I know the girls gave a good effort. But we didn't come here to just to give a good effort.
"We came here to win. We fell short of that tonight."