Double the fun
LHS tennis squad sending both doubles pairs to state
Topeka Since the first day of tennis practice this spring, Lansing High seniors Chris Bristow and Chris Hancock had two goals - qualify for state and play hooky from graduation.
The doubles duo achieved their first goal on Monday. They qualified for state by placing second in doubles at the Class 5A regional meet at Kossover Tennis Center in Topeka. If they survive the first day of state on Friday, they will achieve their second goal - the Saturday rounds at Kossover overlap with graduation.
"It's a two-day tournament, so we have to get to day two," Bristow said. "At the beginning of the season our main goal was to get to state, but now we want to get to the second day of state."
Bristow and Hancock are excited about making their first trip to state, but they said it will mean even more because they won't be going alone. Junior teammates Shawn Jung and Matt Warner also qualified in doubles.
"It'll be great to make a trip to state will all four of us playing together," Hancock said. "Hopefully we can stay together to the second day."
Qualifying wasn't easy. Bristow and Hancock earned a No. 2 seed and had little trouble advancing as they earned a first-round bye and then swept their quarterfinal opponents from Mill Valley, 6-4, 6-3. Jung and Warner faced a more difficult road. They swept their first opponents from Seaman, 6-0, 6-0, but then had to upset the third-seed from Shawnee Heights in the quarterfinals to qualify for state.
"The best win of the day was probably Matt and Shawn over Shawnee Heights," LHS coach Bryan Shelley said.
After that, the LHS doubles teams were pitted against each other in the semifinals.
"Both of our teams are playing each other, they both know they're gong to state, they both know they have a medal. There's no losers when it comes down to that," Shelley said. "But, of course, the way I am and the way the guys on my team are, it got heated because they wanted to win. They wanted a bigger medal."
Bristow and Hancock won the match, 6-4, 6-0, but later lost to Topeka West in the finals. Jung and Warner had to default the third-place match to West's No. 2 doubles squad because of a quadriceps injury to Jung.
"We got fourth place, so we'll have one of the last seeds (at state)," Jung said. "We're going to still play our hardest."
Neither of Lansing's singles players, sophomore Josh Robinson or senior David Billard, qualified. Robinson lost in the first round to the No. 3-seed. Billard lost a hard-fought quarterfinal match to the fourth-seed.
"I'm really happy with everyone," Shelley said. "Even the singles guys played the best they've played all year. They just played better competition, and they know that."