For the first time in head coach Violet Shortly’s tenure, in early September, the Forest Lake girls tennis team defeated Elk River, 5-2. Over the weekend, the Rangers did it again. They defeated the Elks, 5-2, at the Elk River Invite on Saturday, Sept. 21.
But Shortly said her girls had to fight a little harder this time around because it was on the Elks’ turf.
Senior Taylor Shortly went up against a strong No. 1 singles player, Meagan Brown, and got revenge after losing by tiebreaker in their last matchup to beat Brown 3-6, 6-3 (10-3).
“Taylor knew we were in a little bit of trouble, not having gotten the four points yet, and she said ‘I’m not losing,’” coach Shortly said.
Chase Shortly also pulled out a close victory at No. 2 singles with a score of 6-4, 7-5 (12-10).
Though two of the Rangers’ three doubles teams went to tiebreakers, Forest Lake swept the doubles pool again, led by No. 1 team of seniors Bailey Norby and Taylor Emly, who won 6-1, 5-7 (10-3).
Seniors Taylor Angelo and Natalie Wright won at No. 2 doubles, 6-3, 6-7 (7-4), (10-7), while the No. 3 team of seniors Lindsey Tilton and Risa Anderson won in two sets, 6-1, 7-5.
“This was on their turf and they wanted a fight, so it was a big deal we got that win,” Coach Shortly said. “Four of our five wins went to third-set tiebreakers, so I think this was a bit of a reality check to the girls that they are not going to just walk through this section. We have to earn our wins.”
Forest Lake also defeated Hibbing, 4-0, and Andover, 4-3, with key wins by Taylor Shortly (No. 1 singles), Chase Shortly (No. 2 singles), sophomore Megan Anderson (No. 3 singles) and Angelo and Wright (No. 2 doubles) to earn its first Elk River Invite title.
Forest Lake traveled to Roseville on Monday, Sept. 23, for a makeup match. The Rangers won 6-1, bringing their record to an unblemished 20-0.
“It’s hard to coach a team that is undefeated,” coach Shortly said. “The girls are just wondering if and when they’ll get that loss. They put a lot of pressure on themselves, but we just need to continue to play one match at a time.”
The Rangers traveled to Woodbury on Tuesday, Sept. 24, and next host East Ridge in the final regular-season home match of the season at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26.