Lions place third at Gardner
Warner, Robinson lead way with second place doubles finish; Collins a strong third at No. 1 singles
Heavy gusts of wind at the Gardner-Edgerton High School tennis courts made playing difficult for all five teams at the tournament. Lansing High was no exception.
The Lions' No. 1 doubles pair of senior Matt Warner and junior Josh Robinson placed second, but LHS finished third as a team with 10 points. De Soto was first with 22 points and Paola was second with 16.
"Everybody across the board team-wise fought the wind," LHS coach Rachel Elkins said. "In fact, that's the highest type of wind factor that I've ever been out coaching in and had teams competing in. It was a variable, for sure.
Elkins said the wind gave her top doubles team some trouble during the final match as Warner and Robinson struggled with their serves. Prior to advancing to the finals, though, the twosome tore through their first three opponents.
"I think they had their A-minus game today," Elkins said. "Not their B-plus game, but their A-minus game, and they had to have their A game today with that wind."
"They were disappointed with second place."
Lansing's No. 2 doubles team, senior John Edmonds and sophomore Eric Hansen, went 1-3 on the day. Their lone victory came in a dominating 8-1 performance in their first match of the day against Spring Hill. In the second round they held a 7-4 advantage against De Soto, but they let their lead slip away and ultimately lost in a tiebreak, 8-7 (7-2).
"That tie-break kind of blew the air out of their parachute," Elkins said, noting that Edmonds and Hansen battled tough in their final two matches. They won five games in the final two, but were unable to capture either match.
Elkins praised Hansen for giving a gutsy effort in his first match as a varsity player. He was called up from the junior varsity because two other players were injured. Elkins said he stepped up admirably.
"Eric played singles last year, so I kind of asked him to step up two positions today," Elkins said. "He switched to varsity and switched from singles to doubles, so I was pleased with his play."
Senior Cory Collins also had a solid day. He had more success with his serve, and that enhanced his all-around play. Collins cruised against Spring Hill, 8-3, lost to the eventual champion from De Soto by an 8-2 score, and then split his final matches with Gardner and Paola. The match against Paola was a narrow 8-6 defeat.
"We got some points from Cory this go-round, so I was proud of Cory this time out," Elkins said. "I thought it was a good performance by him."
At No. 2 singles, sophomore Mo Meyer made his singles debut. He went 1-3 on the day, but Elkins pointed out that he won 16 games on the day which proved he was competitive.
"He won quite a few games, and that's what I'm looking for from him as a sophomore coming up from JV," Elkins said.
The Lions next play at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Topeka.