Lawrence High senior tennis standout Thomas Irick has been working on his serve for a couple of months. That’s going to cause plenty of trouble for his opponents.
Irick cruised in the No. 1 singles match and helped the Lions boys beat Bonner Springs, 5-3, on Tuesday afternoon at LHS.
Making it look much easier than it actually is, Irick bounces the tennis ball four times with his right hand before gathering and flipping the ball above his head. Once he jumps, he pulverizes the ball with scorching speed, which on Tuesday scored several aces and easy return winners when his opponent was able to get his racket on it. Irick won his match, 6-0.
“I’ve been working on my serve for several months now, and it’s just been getting better and better,” said Irick, a three-time state qualifier who finished eighth at state last year. “Hopefully it’ll continue to improve.”
Though Irick wasn’t going up against the top competition in the state, he still used Tuesday’s dual to perfect a big piece of his game.
“You can scout out your opponents, and then you know how it’s probably going to go,” Irick said. “You go in there in those type of matches, and you pick something to work on. Today I picked working on my serve — don’t miss too many serves. In the end that turned out pretty well for me.”
Senior Panyin Boye-Doe won the No. 2 singles match, 6-2, after struggling last week in singles and doubles against Seabury Academy and in the Emporia Tournament. Boye-Doe will likely be used as a doubles player as the season progresses and roles are set.
“I was very proud of ‘P,’ the way he rebounded after the doubles (loss) and the way he played last week,” LHS coach Chris Marshall said. “It was good to see that, so hopefully we have some confidence going into quads and some of the more important matches that we will have down the road.”
The Lions will play in the Topeka Seaman quad at 3:30 p.m. today.''
Lawrence High 5, Bonner Springs 3
Thomas Irick (LHS) def. Quinton Shneck (BS), 6-0
Panyin Boye-Doe (LHS) def. Jack Klingele (BS), 6-2
Peter Jenkins (BS) def. Sam Allen (LHS), 6-5 (7-5)
Aaron Ashford (BS) def. Michael Braman (LHS), 6-5 (7-5)
Brendan Conner (LHS def. Tanner Shipman (BS), 6-4
Quinton Shneck-Jack Klingele (BS) def. Panyin Boye-Doe-Adam Eudaly (LHS), 8-5
Matt Carmody-Jonathon Kinder (LHS) def. Peter Jenkins-Tanner Shipman (BS), 8-5
Zach Bowie-Sam Allen (LHS) def. JT Johnson-Aaron Ashford (BS), 8-1