Varsity tennis comes to an end after an impressive season

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After an amazing season of only two regular-season losses, the boys varsity tennis team finished up its year at states. Placing second in their conference, first in their region, and third at Division 2 states, the Rangers had a very impressive and accomplished season.

“I think the season went extremely well, just like I thought it would. I knew we had the talent, and we worked hard and were really close as a team,” said senior captain Jeremy James when asked about the season as a whole. “We had so much potential but just couldn’t quite get over the hump to become the best team in the state.”

Jeremy was a pivotal member of the Rangers’ team this season. At the two singles position, Jeremy earned the team many points from wins against his opponents. Each time they played rival Forest Hills Northern, you could always count on Jeremy to clinch that match. Jeremy was also a great captain, always cheering on his fellow teammates.

“I’m going to miss tennis so much. It’s been a blast playing with every teammate I’ve had the past few years, especially the guys this year,” said Jeremy when asked how he felt about his high school tennis career coming to an end.

This year went particularly well for the two doubles team of senior Nick Stockenauer and junior Walker Sjolin. Nick and Walker had great performances at the quad in West Ottawa. The duo won each of its matches, helping the team beat Mattawan 5-3 to win the tournament.

The one doubles team of senior Chris Battiste and junior Cully Herbert definitely pulled their weight this season. Winning most of their matches throughout the season, this duo proved their skill. Being one of the two courts to beat their final opponent at states, the boys ended their season with a well-earned win. 

“I think this season was good. We made it to the semi-finals in states, which is the farthest we’ve made it in a while,” Cully said. “For next year, I’m excited to be a captain and to be able to control what we do.”

Three and four singles players sophomore Chris Shang and freshman Nico Notarnicola also had great seasons. Chris had some great matches against Byron Center, Lowell, and East Grand Rapids. Nico had a great season as well. The four singles player started out slow but worked his way up to being the only singles player to win his final match at states.

At one singles this year was sophomore Sammy Yin. Sammy swept many of his opponents this season but also proved himself in many tough matches. Some matches against Northern and Mona Shores went into three sets, but Sammy came out on top.

“I think it was an amazing season, our team had barely any losses and we dominated a lot.” Sammy said. “I am looking forward to another season like this one, but without COVID.”

The three and four doubles teams were also a huge help to the Rangers this past season. The three doubles team of senior Ben Koning and junior Nick Yasenchak had multiple matches go into three sets, but they worked hard to come out on top. Some of those matches were against East Grand Rapids and University of Detroit Jesuit. The four doubles team of junior Devin Holcombe and sophomore Noah Kriekard had a great season as well. One of their best matches was against FHN; after losing to the Huskies the week prior, the duo was determined to get them back. They ended up beating them in two sets, proving their resilience.

“We had a great season overall, and I’m proud of the effort of the team,” head coach Dan Bolhouse said. “We continued to improve throughout the season and finished tied for third in Division 2. Not many coaches had us ranked that high when the season started, so it was fun surprising our opponents.”

As the season comes to an end, it’s time to start looking forward to next season.

“I’m looking forward to our team taking another step towards winning the conference, Regional, and State championships,” Bolhouse said. “We have a great group returning and with hard work, we will be on the hunt for all three of our goals.”