LHS tennis wins some, loses some against KC Christian
Lansing High tennis coach Rachel Elkins knows the only way for her team to improve is to play the best competition possible.
That's the very reason she had her squad play a dual Monday afternoon at Kansas City Christian. Traditionally a strong Class 4A program, KC Christian provided a good test for Elkins' entire squad. She took 17 players to the dual, and all gained valuable experience. Elkins said that especially was the case for her junior varsity players.
"The JV white at the lower end of the ladder won some games, but they didn't win any matches," Elkins said. "But that's OK right now. This is exposure to experience, and these are duals that I'm coordinating with coaches to expose the girls to competition. They'll only get better from it. Playing intrasquad won't do it. They need to do the whole thing - warm up, travel, playing everything. Exposure to competition is what it's all about."
All but one of the Lions made the trip to KC Christian. Freshman Kelsi Mckenzie missed the tournament because she was sick.
In the six-player varsity singles ladder, Lansing went 1-2. Senior Heidi Schultz lost to Kim Francis, 8-1. Junior Lauren Elkins fell to Bre Alholm, 8-4. Freshman Ashley Harrington was defeated 8-1 by Leigh Sunderland. Freshman Amy Briggs beat Liz Healey, 8-6. Junior Christine Cordes won her match, 8-1. Senior Abby Hauver lost, 8-3.
In doubles, all three Lansing varsity teams lost. Cordes and Briggs dropped an 8-5 decision to Leigh Sunderland and Catherine Farris. Hauver and Harrington lost, 8-4. The final doubles match was a showdown between both teams' top singles players - Schultz and Elkins battled Francis and Alholm - and the KC Christian duo squeaked out an 8-6 victory.
In the junior varsity matches, Lansing came away with just two victories but lots of valuable experience. Junior Sarah Sargent and freshman Briana Hall won their doubles match, 6-2. Hall also won her singles match in a tiebreak, 7-6 (7-5), against Yulie Stevens.
In other junior varsity matches:
- Freshmen Ariana Domke and Allison Dillon lost, 6-2.
- Freshmen Katelyn Griffen and Sarah Nielsen lost in a tiebreak, 7-6 (7-4).
- Freshmen Chelsea Weeks and Katelyn Cavaleri lost, 6-2.
- Sophomore Mandy Newby and freshman Lauren Ingram lost, 6-1.
- Cavaleri and freshman Allison Hancock lost, 6-2.
- Sargent dropped a 6-3 decision to Liz Finn.
- Domke lost to Margo Schupman, 6-4.
- Dillon lost to Olivia Scalla, 6-3.
- Weeks lost to Maria Goll, 6-3.
Coach Elkins had plenty of praise for her younger players' effort Monday. In particular, she said Cavaleri was impressive while playing two doubles matches.
"Cavaleri is playing some pretty decent tennis," Elkins said. "She just needs to learn how to use her leverage, use her body, and she'll be fine. She's really improving."