Chisato Kimura trailed by one point in a tiebreaker Monday against her opponent from Topeka High when she spotted her mom watching her from the area above the tennis courts at Lawrence High.
Afterward, Kimura reeled off point after point, securing a marathon, 8-7 (3) victory to end her final match at No. 1 singles in the LHS quadrangular.
“I thought I better try a little harder,” Kimura said. “That was good motivation.”
Kimura, a senior, traded leads with Topeka senior Maddie Pieschl before fighting back to force the tiebreaker. Pieschl featured a strong first serve and hit high-arcing lobs to the shorter Kimura, who was consistent with her forehand and backhand.
Their match featured several long rallies as each player avoided many unforced errors. A few games prior to the tiebreaker, Kimura rolled her ankle, but said afterward, “I think adrenaline helped me a lot.”
As a team, the Lions ended with a 1-1-1 record, sweeping Topeka and splitting their matches against St. James Academy, which didn’t send its varsity players. LHS lost all its matches to Washburn Rural.
Kimura, who played at No. 2 singles last season, earned an 8-0 win over SJA’s Rachel Hoog. She thought her focus and consistency in her victory over Hoog carried into her final match.
“Super tired, but if I was going to have to play that long, it’s nice to come out with a win,” said Kimura, who was playing in the last match of the night with several teammates watching. “It felt really good to come off the (court), and be like, ‘It was worth something.’”
In No. 1 doubles, seniors Mia Waters and Chloe Thornton had a 1-2 record, registering their lone victory against Topeka.
It’s the first season they’ve played as a doubles pairing and they are hopeful that their styles will mix well as they gain more experience. Waters, a lefty, is stronger at the net and Thornton prefers groundstrokes.
“Things really got better as we progressed,” Waters said. “We got more used it.”
Lawrence coach Chris Marshall said the biggest key for Waters and Thornton, when they team up together, is to play more aggressive and not waiting for the other person to hit winning shots.
In No. 2 doubles, Caitlynn Kliem and Megan Wisbey won 8-2 over Topeka.
“It’s a matter of want to, moving our feet and being confident,” Marshall said.
Lawrence freshman Bella Kirkwood posted a 2-1 record at No. 2 singles with wins against SJA and Topeka.
Kirkwood played last weekend at the Emporia Invitational in singles, which gave her more experience against top competition.
“She’s come a long with strategy,” Marshall said. “I mean it’s a long way from middle school. We still need some technical stuff to work on with her, but she’s making great progress.”
Lawrence tennis quad
Monday at Lawrence High
Washburn Rural 4, Lawrence 0
No. 1 singles — Rachel Osborn, WR, def. Chisato Kimura, LHS, 8-0.
No. 2 singles — Haley Kucera, WR, def. Bella Kirkwood, LHS, 8-3.
No. 1 doubles — Maddie Aarnes/Hallie Beard, WR, def. Mia Waters/Chloe Thornton, LHS, 8-2.
No. 2 doubles — Cortlyn Wolfe/Lauren Pryor, WR, def. Caitlynn Kliem/Karenna Peterson, LHS, 8-1.
Lawrence 2, St. James Academy 2
No. 1 singles — Kimura, LHS, def. Rachel Hoog, SJA, 8-0.
No. 2 singles — Kirkwood, LHS, def. Lexi Rasmussen, SJA, 8-1.
No. 1 doubles — Kaley Coffman/Molly Book, SJA, def. Waters/Thornton, LHS, 8-5.
No. 2 doubles — Kathleen Shepard/Maddie Blondo, SJA, def. Kliem/Megan Wisbey, LHS, 8-1.
Lawrence 4, Topeka 0
No. 1 singles — Kimura, LHS, def. Maddie Pieschl, THS, 8-7 (3).
No. 2 singles — Kirkwood, LHS, def. Beth Peterson, THS, 8-1.
No. 1 doubles — Waters/Thornton, LHS, def. Taya Davis/Maddie Johnstone, THS, 8-3.
No. 2 doubles — Kliem/Wisbey, LHS, def. Christina De La Isla/Jocelyn Mercer, THS, 8-2.