Warner, Robinson: Bring on the best
Lansing doubles duo wants to play Leavenworth varsity
For all of the talk about a rivalry between Lansing and Leavenworth, it's somewhat surprising that the bordering cities' high schools only compete head-to-head in tennis. That will happen at 9 a.m. today when Lansing High competes at the Leavenworth Tournament.
And even that isn't done quite right, according to Lansing senior Matt Warner and his partner at No. 1 doubles, junior Josh Robinson.
"First of all, we only get to play their JV, so it's not as sweet," Warner said, noting that Leavenworth's varsity squad doesn't compete at its own home tournament. "But I'm sure we can beat their varsity. I'm not too scared about that."
Robinson shared his teammate's frustration.
"All of the other schools send their varsity," he said of the other teams at the tournament.
LHS coach Rachel Elkins also expressed her disappointment in not getting to face Leavenworth's varsity squad, but she said playing a JV team still would present a challenge to Warner and Robinson.
"Mentally they're going to have to be prepared to close the match early, because at times mentally you can be lackadaisical because you know you're not facing the top guns," she said. "You still have to be prepared for a match like that, too."
Preparation hasn't been a problem for Warner and Robinson this season. They own two first-place finishes and two second-place finishes through four tournaments this year. Their record is 14-3.
"We're getting better with every match," Robinson said.
Their scores indicate as much. The more matches they've played, the more lopsided their victories have been. It's not like they've been playing a bunch of scrubs, either. On Saturday they placed first at the difficult Hayden Invitational in Topeka.
They said they expect nothing short of a first-place finish today at the Leavenworth Tournament.
LHS coach Rachel Elkins said she has high expectations of her squad today. Senior Cory Collins will return to the No. 1 singles position after missing the Hayden Invitational with an elbow injury. Sophomore Mo Meyer will continue to play No. 2 singles. Freshman Ezra Carpenter and junior Felipe Blotta will play No. 2 doubles.
Elkins said Meyer, Carpenter and Blotta both have taken major strides during the past few weeks and she said she expected to see them expand on that progress today.