Schultz leads LHS tennis at Baldwin
If only the Lansing High varsity tennis team had played a few more matches prior to the Baldwin Invitational, then the Lions' results might have been different.
Lansing, playing its first tournament of the season Wednesday, had one player medal - No. 2 singles player Heidi Schultz - while the rest went 1-3 against a difficult pool of players from Bonner Springs, De Soto, Parsons and Topeka Hayden.
"I think it was a combination of things," LHS coach Rachel Elkins said of her squad's struggles during its first tournament. "From talking to the other coaches, the other teams all had two or three duals under their belt, which is about 12 matches per player, so the experience level (hurt us). And then the doubles players were getting used to their new partners."
At No. 1 doubles, senior Rachel Darrow and junior Kersten Probst went 1-3 with their lone victory coming in an 8-6 decision against Bonner Springs. At No. 2 doubles it was a similar story. Bethanie Hill and Jaclyn Gann went 1-3 and defeated Bonner, 8-2. They also lost a heartbreaker to Parsons in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (7-3). At No. 1 singles, senior Lindsay Parks also was 1-3 and beat Bonner's Jessie Langley, 8-3.
Despite the losses to some of the top teams in Class 4A, the Lions found a major bright spot in the play of Schultz, a junior and returning varsity player.
Schultz posted a 4-1 record on the day and placed third at No. 2 singles, but she narrowly missed earning a spot in the championship match. Schultz dropped her first match of the day to Alex Drosser of De Soto, who ultimately placed first. Schultz battled Drosser for every point and ultimately forced a tiebreaker before losing the match 8-7 (7-4).
With a tough match under her belt, Schultz was on cruise control for the rest of the day. She won the rest of her pool play matches, beating Hayden's Monica Montana, 8-4, bonner's Chelsea Crouch, 8-2, and Parsons' Katie Butler, 8-5. Then, in the third-place match, Schultz whipped Carlene Bolton of Mill Valley, 8-1.
"I thought it was a pretty good outing for her, being her first tournament," Elkins said of Schultz's day. "She was playing some pretty decent tennis for her first outing."
The Lions next compete at 8 a.m. Saturday at in an eight-team tournament at Topeka Hayden. The teams in Lansing's pool will be Atchison, Perry and Hayden. In the other pool will be Wamego, Sabetha, Maur Hill Prep and Neodesha.