Archive for Thursday, March 30, 2006

Warner, Robinson place second at Mill Valley

Veterans lead the way at first tennis tournament of the season

March 30, 2006

The Lansing High tennis team opened its season Wednesday at the Mill Valley Tournament, and the Lions had their share of ups and downs.

The high points came from the No. 1 doubles duo of senior Matt Warner and junior Josh Robinson, the Lions' only returning varsity players. Their experience shined through as they placed second.

The rest of the Lions - the No. 2 doubles pair of senior John Edmonds and sophomore Mo Meyer, and singles players Cory Collins, a senior, and junior Felipe Blotta all struggled. All went winless.

"The only team that really performed today, quite honestly, was Matt Warner and Josh Robinson," first-year coach Rachel Elkins said. "They won their pool, and then they went into bracket play and they took second. They lost that match to Blue Valley, 8-2, but in their pool they went 4-0."

Elkins said the greatest strengths for Warner and Robinson were their communication and their overall preparedness. She said that from the moment practice ended Tuesday they went into "game time" mode and never lost focus. She said their preparation in practice carried over to the court.

"One thing they showed me today was that they're able to come out of the gate running, even coming off spring break," Elkins said.

Edmonds and Meyer struggled with communication during their matches. Part of that may have to do with their lack of experience playing together. Still, Elkins said the effort was there, especially from Edmonds.

"His heart is as big as the racquet head," Elkins said. "He just cares so much."

Blotta struggled with his focus throughout the day and ultimately went 0-4. Collins also went 0-4, but he was in every match he played. He fell behind 7-0 in his first match of the day but rallied to win the next five games before losing the set, 8-5. It was typical of his day.

Elkins said the eight-game pro set format with no advantage gave Collins trouble. In that format, instead of playing through deuce, the next point wins. That's where Collins slipped up.

"He just didn't close the door and lost on deuce almost every time," Elkins said. "Cory is very close to crossing that line of closing the door and winning the match. It's a point here and a point there that makes the difference for him."

LHS next will compete at 3 p.m. April 6 against Paola at Gardner.

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