Split puts tennis squad at 6-5

Host Hornets top Rangers 4-3 at Edina Invitational

Dusty Boyer cranks a serve in last week’s home match against East Ridge. The senior is 14-0 this season, ranked No. 1 in the state and has not lost since last April. (Photo by Clint Riese)

Clint Riese
Sports Editor

The Ranger tennis boys emerged from a busy week with a split. With four matches left in the regular season, Forest Lake is 6-5.

Most recently, the Rangers faced the fifth-ranked hosts in the four-team Edina Invitational on Saturday. The Hornets prevailed 4-3 despite straight-set losses at the top three singles slots. Forest Lake senior Dusty Boyer defeated sophomore Max Olson 6-1, 6-4. Ninth-grader Toby Boyer won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 and senior Zack Decker won 6-3, 6-0 at No. 3.

Forest Lake combined to win just six games at the other four positions.

“Our top three are as good as anyone in the state, but that elusive fourth point was evident against a talented, deep Hornet squad,” said coach Greg Patchin.

The Rangers were in a tight match with No. 3 Rochester Mayo in the second round of the meet when play was suspended due to rain. The invite had already been postponed from its original date of April 28.

“[The Spartans] were missing two key players and it appeared that we were going to be real competitive at fourth singles and No. 2 doubles,” Patchin said.

Rangers 5,
Bluejackets 2

Forest Lake boosted its confidence about the Section 7AA outlook with a 5-2 win over Hibbing last Friday. The hosts swept singles, as senior Nate Riedeman cruised to victory at the fourth spot. The No. 2 doubles tandem of senior Ryan Renard and eighth-grader Hunter Shortly won 6-1, 6-3 for good measure.

“It is always nice to send a message to the north that there is another good team in the section other than Elk River,” Patchin said.

Toby Boyer did not drop a game at No. 2 singles.

“I think Toby is playing as well as any No. 2 player in the state and his 13 wins have all been 6-2 or better,” Patchin said. “Pretty incredible for a freshman.”

Raptors 4, Rangers 3

A solid East Ridge squad left Forest Lake with a 4-3 victory last Thursday. Patchin credited the Raptors for a smart arrangement of the lineup which led to a sweep of doubles. East Ridge got its fourth point at No. 4 singles.

Renard and Shortly forced a second-set tiebreak at No. 3 doubles but could not push the match to a third set.

Rangers 4, Raiders 3

A singles sweep carried the Rangers over Hastings in a conference road meet last Tuesday. Shortly prevailed 6-2, 6-4 at the fourth singles position. The top three Rangers each lost two games or fewer against overmatched Raiders opponents.

Forest Lake played at Roseville this Tuesday and hosts Chisago Lakes on Wednesday. Cretin-Derham Hall comes to town on Thursday. The boys close the regular season at Andover next Wednesday.