Youth-laden Lions ready to ace regional tennis meet
The sun won't yet be shining when the Lansing High girls tennis team hits the road today for the Class 5A regional tournament, but the Lions hope the long ride home will be a warm one with lots of smiles.
They hope the tournament, which begins at 9 a.m. at Emporia High School, will be a successful one in which third-year coach Rachel Elkins will send her first player - or players - to the state tournament.
Sophomore Amy Briggs is the Lions' best bet, Elkins said. With a 13-4 record, Elkins said Briggs will be in contention for a first-round bye and a potential favorable second-round matchup.
"Amy's the one that has the best chance of making it, that's for sure," Elkins said.
In recent weeks Briggs seems to have improved by the match. Her strokes have been a bit more on-target, and her confidence has been rising.
Elkins said Briggs doesn't appear nervous.
"(Monday) at practice she seemed like the same person : pretty solid, not anxious at all, with the exception of a 'let's go' attitude," Elkins said.
Elkins said sophomores Briana Hall and Katelyn Griffen also have a good chance of qualifying if they get the right draw. The challenge, Elkins said, is that they played as the No. 2 doubles pair all season and don't have as many head-to-head victories over other teams in the regional. That could hurt their seeding.
Other LHS competitors will be sophomore Ashley Harrington in singles and seniors Christine Cordes and Lauren Elkins in doubles. They likely will have to draw for a seeding, Rachel Elkins said.
The regional field won't be easy. Lansing will be joined by Emporia, Bonner Springs, Highland Park, Topeka Seaman, Shawnee Heights and state power Topeka West. West tied for fourth at state last year.
If any Lions place in the top four at regionals, then they will advance to the state meet on Oct. 12-13 at Kossover Tennis Center in Topeka.