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Girls varsity tennis secures its spot at States

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In regional play on Friday, the girls varsity tennis team secured its spot at States. The team was right on the brink of not making the cut, but freshman Emily Johnson pulled through for her team to secure the last two points the Rangers needed to advance into States.

The Rangers started the meet excelling above the other 12 teams. FHC knew they would have some difficulties heading into regionals because they were facing their all-time rival East Grand Rapids, the reigning champions. They also knew they would have the same problem with Forest Hills Northern because the Huskies were finalists last season.

“The team played some excellent tennis in a very tough regional,” Head Coach Dan Bolhouse said. “Our goal was to qualify for States and every team member played an important role.”

Every single match FHC played in the first round, they won. Sophomores Mandy Ehrlich and Andrea Wang both won their matches with ease and were ready to go into the next round.

“My first match was a relatively easy match, it was against Northview,” Andrea said. “It was like a warm-up for my next match against Northern that was definitely a tougher match.”

However, the second match was a tough one for the team. The majority of the Rangers lost their match in the third set. Andrea and Mandy were both unable to secure the win. But the Rangers still had one player in the game: Emily. She was the only person from FHC that advanced into the finals.

“It felt amazing to have been the only person advancing to the finals,” Emily said. “I was really nervous heading into the match and I felt the pressure. We needed those last two points to advance, so I was definitely feeling nervous.”

Emily was able to finish strong to win the third set and beat Northern. Those two points from Emily ultimately advanced the team into States. The Rangers needed 18 points to continue on, which they met exactly.

The Rangers are preparing hard for States. They have two weeks to practice before they play on June 1 and 2. They are focusing on being able to finish when they’re playing, which will give them a good chance at placing at States.

“Our team has really improved from our first match,” Bolhouse said. “We are learning how to win tough matches and it’s been so much fun. In sports, there are always challenging times. The girls and I talk about learning from the tough times and rising above next time. Falling short happens, but the most important thing is to use it and come back stronger, and that is what we are planning to do at States.”

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