Upper-90-degree temperatures and a beaming sun didn’t affect Free State’s Alexis Czapinski at Tuesday afternoon’s Lawrence High quadrangular.
The FSHS senior coasted to a 3-0 record in her No. 1 singles matches, helping the Firebirds to a quad victory.
“I like the heat. I really do,” Czapinski said. “I would rather have this temperature than zero degrees out.”
Czapinski was nearly perfect, winning her three matches 8-0, 8-1 and 8-0.
The senior, who played three hours almost every afternoon in the summer, said she had become accustomed to long days on the court.
“The heat of the day, I’m used to it,” Czapinski said. “You can’t let that get to you in a match.”
Free State coach Oather Strawderman said the team had taken steps to help its endurance, as the Firebirds go through running drills and sprints early in the season.
“If anything, we like a day like this,” Strawderman said, “because the teams that aren’t conditioned like we are are going to suffer.”
Like Czapinski, Free State’s No. 2 singles player Megan McReynolds swept her three matches, picking up 8-5, 8-5 and 8-1 victories.
Free State’s eight total wins were one better than second-place Olathe South.
Kendall Pritchard led the Lawrence High girls, as she finished with a 2-1 record at No. 2 singles. The junior has seen some encouraging early results after making an effort to become more aggressive.
“I usually just hit right towards the middle (last year) with safe shots,” Pritchard said. “This year, I’m just working on better strategy and hitting more winners.”
LHS coach Chris Marshall also left pleased with the play of No. 1 singles player Whitney Simons, who finished 1-2 and took Olathe South’s Taylor Stout to a tiebreaker, and the No. 1 doubles team of Brooke Braman and Zoe Schneider, who played their best tennis late in an 8-5 victory over Olathe South’s Haley Dunkak and Megan Barb.
“The best thing about it is it’s the beginning of the season,” Marshall said, “and we still have the whole season to work on some things and to iron out some of the problems we had.”
Free State defeated LHS in its head-to-head dual, 3-1. Czapinski defeated Simons in No. 1 singles (8-0); McReynolds beat Pritchard in No. 2 singles (8-5); FSHS’s Caitlin Dodd and Taylor Hawkins teamed up to beat LHS’s Braman and Schneider in No. 1 doubles (8-5); and the Lions’ Yelena Birt and Natalie Cote defeated the Firebirds’ Rachel Walters and Alyssa Raye in No. 2 doubles (8-6).
Lawrence High tennis quad
Tuesday at LHS
Free State 3, Lawrence 1
No. 1 singles — Alexis Czapinski, FSHS, def. Whitney Simons, LHS, 8-0.
No. 2 singles — Megan McReynolds, FSHS, def. Kendall Pritchard, LHS, 8-5.
No. 1 doubles — Caitlin Dodd-Taylor Hawkins, FSHS, def. Brooke Braman-Zoe Schneider, LHS, 8-5.
No. 2 doubles —Yelena Birt-Natalie Cote, LHS, def. Rachel Walters-Alyssa Raye, FSHS, 8-6.
Lawrence 2, Shawnee Mission South 2
No. 1 singles — Simons, LHS, def. Lani Sader, SMS, 8-1.
No. 2 singles — Pritchard, LHS, def. Natalie Prauser, SMS, 8-4.
No. 1 singles — Emily Anderson-Chloe Mathews, SMS, def. Dodd-Hawkins, LHS, 8-4.
No. 2 singles — Brittany Multer-Marissa Gatti, SMS, def. Birt-Cote, LHS, 8-7 (7-4).
Free State 2, Olathe South 2
No. 1 singles — Czapinski, FSHS, def. Taylor Stout, OS, 8-1.
No. 2 singles — McReynolds, FSHS, def. Catherine Serwatka, OS, 8-5.
No. 1 doubles — Haley Dunkak-Megan Barb, OS, def. Dodd-Hawkins, FSHS, 8-5.
No. 2 doubles — Ashley Barb-Navya Prabhushankar, OS, def. Walters-Raye, FSHS, 8-3.
Lawrence 2, Olathe South 2
No. 1 singles — Stout, OS, def. Simons, LHS, 8-7 (7-5).
No. 2 singles — Pritchard, LHS, def. Serwatka, OS, 8-2.
No. 1 doubles — Braman-Schneider, LHS, def. Dunkak-M. Barb, 8-5.
No. 2 doubles — A. Barb-Prabhushankar, OS, def. Birt-Cote, LHS, 8-7 (7-2).
Free State 3, Shawnee Mission South 1
No. 1 singles — Czapinski, FSHS, def. Brittany Multer, SMS, 8-0.
No. 2 singles — McReynolds, FSHS, def. Gatti, SMS, 8-1.
No. 1 doubles — Mathews-Anderson, SMS, def. Dodd-Hawkins, FSHS, 8-5.
No. 2 doubles —Walters-Raye, FSHS, def. Sader-Prauser, SMS, 8-2.