Girls varsity tennis finishes second in conference tournament behind FHN but every flight reaches finals

Jeremy James, Sports Reporter

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Every Ranger flight made the finals in the conference tournament; to each get there, they played a different combination of five teams: Northview, Greenville, Cedar Springs, Lowell, and Ottawa Hills. In the finals, they all competed against a state contender in Forest Hills Northern as a team and at every flight. Although none of the Rangers’ flights could pull out the win and upset FHN, the team still totaled 16 points, placing second, and they still qualified for the regional tournament.

Almost every flight for the Rangers dominated the first two rounds. Four flights won a match 6-0, 6-0: freshman Libby Moog at 1 singles against Ottawa Hills in the quarter-finals, junior Andrea Wang at 3 singles against Cedar Springs in the quarter-finals, sophomore Emily Johnson playing 4 singles beat Greenville in the quarter-finals, and 3 doubles, consisting of junior Courtney Fox and senior Myah Leavenworth, facing Ottawa Hills in the quarter-finals.

In the semi-finals, the six Ranger flights that won in straight sets all gave up four or less games; however, this wasn’t the case for 1 and 2 doubles. After winning the first set 6-1, seniors Lyndsay Werkema and Katie McClure at 1 doubles ran into a persistent Northview team. Northview 1 doubles won the second set 6-1 and seemed to flip the script, but after a little break before the last set, Lyndsay and Katie regrouped and finished off the Wildcats 6-2 to advance to the finals. While Lyndsay and Katie lost the second set, senior Emily Benson and junior Isabella Notarnicola got off to a slow start right away and dropped the first set 7-6. Just like 1 doubles, though, they regrouped, forgot about the lost set, and won both the next two sets 6-1.

Just like earlier in the season, the Rangers all lost to FHN; however, they all may get another chance to defeat them in the regional tournament. The regional tournament is being played on Saturday—once again at the Central and Northern courts. To qualify for the state tournament, a team must place first or second or score 18 points.

Last year, Emily Johnson won in the semi-finals and in a pressure-filled final to score the 17th and 18th points for the Rangers; this year, the Rangers need another heroic flight or two if they want to score 18 points and qualify for the state tournament.

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