The Forest Lake girls’ tennis squad lost 2-5 on the road at Mounds View last Tuesday, before bouncing back to sweep Park 7-0 at home on Thursday.
Forest Lake captain and senior Emily Riermann filled the No. 1 singles spot against Mounds View, but fell 0-6, 0-6, while junior Natalie Wright lost 2-6, 0-6 at No. 2 singles. At No. 3 and 4, junior Risa Anderson lost 1-6, 2-6, while ninth-grader Megan Anderson won 6-4, 6-3.
In doubles for the Rangers, junior captain Taylor Shortly and junior Lindsey Tilton lost 2-6, 6-7(7-9) at No. 1, while the duo of sophomore Chase Shortly and junior Bailey Norby won 6-3, 6-0 at the No. 2 position. The No. 3 pair, juniors Taylor Angelo and Taylor Emly, lost 1-6, 6-2(4-6).
Forest Lake head coach Violet Shortly said the season has been a mix of ups and downs for the young squad.
“I am happy to see them come out to compete, and have the drive to get better and play better in order to win sections and get to state,” Shortly said.
The Ranger squad proved how strong it can be with the win over Park two days later. Taylor Shortly moved back into the No. 1 singles spot and won 6-1, 6-2. Her younger sister dominated the No. 2 position with a 6-0, 6-0 shut-out. Norby won 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 3 spot, while No. 4 Megan Anderson won 7-6(7-3), 6-1.
“Taylor and Chase are without a doubt very strong singles players and having them play singles strengthens my lineup,” Shortly said. “Taylor has always played singles and been a strong point. She has had a couple of tough losses that has only inspired her to play harder.”
Forest Lake dominated in doubles as well, with the No. 1 pair, junior Taylor Angelo and Riermann winning 6-1, 6-3. Emly and Wright won 6-0, 6-2 at the No. 2 position, while the No. 3 spot was anchored by junior Rachel Baniecki and Tilton, where they won 6-1, 6-0.
Even though Park isn’t the strongest team in the conference, it was important for the Rangers to come out strong and step things up in order to play their best tennis come October, said Shortly. Her team did just that, and looked to defeat Hastings this Tuesday before traveling to East Ridge tonight, Sept. 20.
The Rangers also have a tough tournament this Saturday in Elk River where they will play the host team, Hibbing and Andover. The tournament begins at 9 a.m.
“My hope is to have all the girls out playing at their best,” Shortly said. “This weekend will be a good indication of how we do going into sections.”