Archive for Thursday, April 6, 2006

Teamwork key for Lansing doubles duo

April 6, 2006

As Matt Warner and Josh Robinson prepared to take the court for their first match of the season March 29 at Mill Valley, Lansing High tennis coach Rachel Elkins stopped them in their tracks to offer a little reminder.

"Remember, Superman and kryptonite," the new boys coach told her No. 1 doubles duo, referencing the comic book superhero and his lone weakness. Elkins heard a college basketball player make the reference during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

"The other team is Superman," Elkins said. "We're Kryptonite, so we'll take them down."

Of course, Warner and Robinson didn't have any green space rocks in their tennis bags, but perhaps they could be called the Green Giants because they managed to find their opponents' weaknesses and exploit them throughout the Mill Valley Tournament.

In their first tournament together, they placed second. Their only loss was an 8-2 defeat to Blue Valley when they struggled a bit with their serves.

Warner and Robinson will put their 4-1 record on the line at 3 p.m. today when LHS takes on Paola at Gardner-Edgerton High School.

Elkins said she has been impressed with Warner and Robinson's ability to focus.

"One thing they showed me (at Mill Valley) was that they're able to come out of the gate running, even coming off spring break," Elkins said. "They've now gelled together as a team."

Warner, a senior, has played varsity tennis for four years at LHS. He went to state last year with then-teammate Shawn Jung. Robinson, a junior, played No. 2 singles last year. They are the Lions' most experienced players.

"They're both mentally tough. They're seasoned," Elkins said. "They're very mature players. Once we get to the tournament or match, it's game time. They make that transition from practice to game time. That comes with experience."

Elkins said she expects Warner and Robinson to continue their steady play today. She is looking for the rest of the squad to catch up, though. As a result, she has shaken up the lineup a bit. Senior Cory Collins will continue to play No. 1 singles, but sophomore Mo Meyer will move to No. 2 singles. Sophomore Eric Hansen will move up to the varsity to join senior John Edmonds at No. 2 doubles.

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