Archive for Saturday, April 15, 2006

Carpenter highlights home tennis dual

April 15, 2006

The Lansing High junior varsity tennis team played host to its lone home event of the season Thursday when Washington paid a visit to the LHS courts.

It turned out the young Lions had their hands full most of the day.

Freshman Ezra Carpenter was the lone victorious Lion as he won his singles match 8-0. The rest of the Lions - freshman Nick Novack in singles, freshmen Joe Goll and Metin DePaolis in doubles and Novak and freshman Curtis Thurman also in doubles - all lost their matches.

Elkins said she was pleased with Carpenter's focus and all-around play. She said he has showed steady improvement throughout the season, and Thursday was simply a continuation of that.

"The key when we started was getting the consistency of hitting the ball over the net, and as we've progressed in the last few weeks we've worked on placing the ball. He's been doing that very well," Elkins said. "He's also hitting the ball deeper to get his opponent back, and he's choosing the best time to hit a slice. He is now playing a lot of tactical ball. His serving has improved, too. His first serve percentage is way up."

Elkins said Carpenter's mindset has been the ultimate catalyst for his improvement. He simply doesn't let himself get rattled.

"He's a very confident individual, and he's very calm," Elkins said. "He's really able to make the transition from practice to game time."

As a result of his work ethic and improvement - as well as because of injuries to a few varsity players - Carpenter earned the chance to get his feet wet with the varsity. He will make his first varsity appearance at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 22, when he and the Lions compete at the Hayden Invitational in Topeka. Carpenter will play doubles.

In the other singles match Thursday, Novak dropped an 8-5 decision, but Elkins said she was pleased with Novak's progress, too. She said the fact that he won five games in the set said a lot.

"I'm pretty proud of him because he's a beginner, and to win five games is good for him," she said. "He's getting better each week."

In the doubles matches, Goll and DePaolis dropped an 8-2 decision and Novak and Thurman were defeated 8-0.

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