The Lansing boys’ tennis team began their season Monday at the Paola Quad. No. 1 singles player Robert Schafter went 1-2 to finish third and No. 2 singles player Zach Crumpacker was 3-0 and took first. The doubles team of Jacob Lorenzen and Collin Kenaga went 2-1 to finish second. The other doubles team of Daylan Williams and Nate Hamman also went 2-1 and took second.
Head coach Eddie Fenton said it was a nice way to start the season.
“Nice way to start the season with everyone getting at least one win at the Paola Quad with Bonner and Baldwin,” Fenton said. “Robert Schafer had the biggest challenge playing No. 1 singles for the first time ever due to a nagging injury to our top player, Jacob Lorenzen, who played No. 1 doubles with Collin Kenaga. I’m most proud of the way that Robert played against the top player from Bonner. He got down 0-6 before he was able to work his way back into the match, finally falling 3-8.”
Fenton also had praise for the play of Lorenzen and Kenaga, with both players dealing with injuries. He said Crumpacker took care of business and the No. 2 doubles team of Williams and Hamman started strong before dropping a tough match to Paola.
“We definitely have some things to work on before our next match in two weeks,” Fenton said. “But I can’t complain too much because we’ve had opening nights where no one got a victory.”
It was the start of the season for the Lions after weather caused some adjustments with practice.
Fenton said the team had to spend the early practices in the gym.
“Fortunately, we have access to our own gym for tennis,” Fenton said prior to the start of the season. “So we’ve been able to introduce and review a lot of the skills the kids will need using indoor nets and balls. It isn’t the ideal situation but at least we got a little tennis in.”
Fenton said the team finally got to practice outside last week.
This year’s team has 20 players with 10 returning and 10 new.
The team will be led by seniors Kenaga, Lorenzen, Schafer and Williams. All four are in their fourth year with the program.
“I know they’ll give their best effort each time we play,” Fenton said. “I’m also excited about our younger kids. We have nine freshmen out this season. This is by far my largest group of freshmen, and many of them are dual sport athletes which helps with teaching them tennis. I’m really looking forward to having them play all four years of high school for us.”
Fenton said the goal of getting a singles player or a doubles team to qualify for state hasn’t changed. He also hopes the team can have a strong showing in the conference tournaments for JV and varsity in Lansing’s first year in the United Kansas Conference. The JV meet is April 23 at Leavenworth and the varsity meet is April 30 at De Soto.
Lansing returns to the court for a tournament at Bonner Springs April 9 and April 11.