Boys varsity tennis team places second in Regionals


On Thursday, the boys varsity tennis team faced off in Regionals. They played against Forest Hills Northern, Lowell, Northview, Jenison, Mona Shores, Reeths Puffer, Holland, and Greenville. After a tough battle, the Rangers were ultimately able to place second in Regionals with 11 points as a team.

The Rangers double flights had a successful day with everyone advancing to the finals. One doubles, which consists of sophomores Chris Battiste and Advith Reddy, was able to win all of its matches beside the last one, which put the duo in second for their flight. Their first match was against Mona Shores. Chris and Advith started off with some miscommunication that resulted in a 6-1 loss. In the second set, they were able to dominate with a 6-1 win, which sent them into a third set. The third set was a back-and-forth game until Chris and Advith pulled ahead, winning 6-3.

“We started off with a lot of nerves in the first match,” Chris said. “We eventually came together in the second set to come back and win. We had to start focusing on the match and thinking about winning Regionals.”  

In its second match, one doubles was able to win against Northview. In the first set, the Rangers easily dominated to win 6-1. During the second set, however, they struggled to gain consistent momentum while playing against the Wildcats. It was a close battle, but the Rangers were able to win 7-6.

Three doubles also did well in Regionals. Three doubles, consisting of sophomores Ben Koning and Jeremy James, was able to place second as well in its conference. Their first match against Northview was relatively easy, as they won 6-4 in the first and 6-0 in the second set. In their second game, against Jenison, Ben and Jeremy were able to dominate in their first set 6-4; however, some miscommunication between them cost them the second set with a 6-3 loss. The duo was able to bounce back and beat the Wildcats 6-1. In their third set, they struggled to beat their rival Northern and lost both sets 6-4.

“During my matches, I was trying to stay focused on each shot because we were going to need all the points we could get if we were going to make it to States,” Ben said.

The single flights also had a good day on Thursday. Two students from FHC advanced in the semi-finals: juniors Suchir Gupta and Hans Siebert. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to beat their opponents.

The Rangers are using this week to help prepare themselves for the State Tournament on Friday and Saturday. The majority of the players will be focusing on improving their own skills and not so much on the team skills.

“We’re going to be running and weightlifting to help us get in the best shape we can before States,” Ben said. “We also are going to work on the up-close net play and practicing our serves, so we can get easy points off of those.”

Throughout the season, the Rangers’ OK White Conference record was 5-1. The only loss the Rangers had was to the Huskies of FHN, but they were able to take revenge on them when they defeated them later on in the season. Head coach Dan Bolhouse is very happy with how the team has come together to have a stellar season.

“The team dynamic is improving as our players gain more experience,” Bolhouse said. “The boys have become a closer group and are supportive of each other. I’m proud of the way the boys competed throughout the season. Qualifying for states was our goal and it feels great that we were able to achieve this goal.”