Rangers edge Cougars in tennis opener

Win at No. 2 doubles proves big in 4-3 contest

The defending Section 7AA tennis champs from Forest Lake opened the 2012 season with a solid test at Centennial on Monday. In last spring’s meeting, the Cougars swept the doubles lineup but still fell 4-3.

Centennial’s entire singles lineup returned this year. On the strength of three victories in singles and one in doubles, Forest Lake again scored a 4-3 win.

The Rangers were without two members expected to be in the opening match lineup, so coach Greg Patchin had to shuffle the deck a bit. His No. 2 doubles squad ended up gaining the key win.

“Throwing together Ryan Renard with Hunter Shortly turned out to be a good move as they won in straight sets to get the fourth point,” he said.

Renard, a senior, and Shortly, an eighth-grader, prevailed 6-4, 6-4.

Senior Dusty Boyer, ninth-grader Toby Boyer and senior Zack Decker won in straight sets in the top three singles slots. Decker was pushed to a tiebreaker in the first set but cruised 6-0 in the second.

Eighth-grader Ben Bowes filled in at the final singles position. Senior Zak Buckley and junior Austin Morris played at No. 1 doubles and junior Eben Matti and sophomore Sam Hamilton manned the third doubles position.

Forest Lake starts the Suburban East Conference season Thursday, April 12, against Stillwater in the first home match of the season. The Herzog Invitational in Stillwater is on the schedule for Saturday and the Rangers play at Woodbury next Tuesday.

Forest Lake 4, Centennial 3
Singles: No. 1: D. Boyer def. Bu. Anderson 6-1, 6-4. No. 2: T. Boyer def. Quach 6-1, 6-2. No. 3: Decker def. Swenson 7-6, 6-0. No. 4: Bowes lost to Bailey 1-6, 1-6. Doubles: No. 1: Buckley/Morris lost to Br. Anderson/Lund 1-6, 4-6. No. 2: Renard/Shortly def. Johnston/Bretoi 6-4, 6-4. No. 3: Hamilton/Matti lost to O’Connell/Fox 1-6, 0-6.