PEKIN -- The annual Dragon Invitational girls tennis tournament will look a whole look different this year.


It's because of the COVID-19 pandemic, of course.


First of all, defending champion Batavia won't be around Saturday to defend its title, and it wasn’t the Bulldogs’ idea.


The IHSA doesn't allow teams to compete outside of their COVID region. Batavia is in Kane County.


Batavia has been replaced by Morton in the eight-team field, giving the invitational even more of a look and feel of a Mid-Illini Conference tournament.


Pekin, Morton, East Peoria, Limestone and Metamora from the Mid-Illini will compete in the invitational. Bloomington, East Moline United Township and LaSalle-Peru round out the field.


Except for Morton, each of the eight teams played in the invitational last year.


As usual, there will be competition in three singles and two doubles flights.


In addition to season-long requirements for tennis coaches, players and spectators to wear a mask while not social distancing, here are additional pandemic-related protocols and changes for the invitational, according to Pekin coach Josh Zinck.


* Each team will be assigned its own area to congregate,


* Fans cannot be inside the fence at the courts. A windscreen has been removed at the John Moss Courts to make it easier for spectators to view matches.


* No concessions will be available.


* The four inside courts at Parkview Athletics Club won't be used. There will be competition on nine courts including four courts at the John Moss Courts, the three "acorn" courts in Mineral Springs Park and the two outside courts at Parkview.


* Scoreboards at the John Moss Courts that show flight results won't be used.


* Awards won't be presented. They'll be sent to the competitors' schools.


* Each team's $80 entry fee was waived. Instead, teams were asked to bring 14 cans of new tennis balls instead of the usual eight cans because each player must have her own tennis ball at a match.


Competition will begin around 8:30 a.m. Saturday and continue into the late afternoon.


CATCHING UP: Pekin beat Peoria Notre Dame 5-4 on the road Thursday, winning two three-set doubles matches after the teams split the six singles matches.


The Dragons are 3-3 overall and 1-1 in Mid-Illini matches.


Here are the Pekin-Notre Dame results:


No. 1 singles -- Mary Breitbach (Notre Dame) def. Amara Howell (Pekin) 6-2, 6-1.


No. 2 singles -- Sydney Watts (Notre Dame) def. Maya Siltman (Pekin) 6-1, 6-2.


No. 3 singles -- Emily Waters (Notre Dame) def. Gabby Gonzalez (Pekin) 6-4, 6-0.


No. 4 singles -- Sarah Broecker (Pekin) def. Annie Czirjak (Notre Dame) 6-2, 6-0.


No. 5 singles -- Bailey Newhouse (Pekin) def. Meredith Oliver (Notre Dame) 6-1, 6-2.


No. 6 singles -- Malia Conner (Pekin) def. Addie Crowley (Notre Dame) 6-1, 6-2.


No. 1 doubles -- Howell/Reeti Patel (Pekin) def. Waters/Watts (Notre Dame) 6-1, 5-7, 10-6.


No. 2 doubles -- Breitbach/Czirjak (Notre Dame) def. Gonzalez/Broecker (Pekin) 6-2, 6-2.


No. 3 doubles -- Emily Brown/Paige Donnelly (Pekin) def. Oliver/Crowley (Notre Dame) 3-6, 7-6 (9), 10-7.


The Dragons lost 9-0 to Normal West and Normal Community on the road last Saturday.


Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.