Ranger tennis boys tame Ponies

It was a windy way for the Forest Lake boys tennis team to kick off its season last Thursday at home against Stillwater, but the Rangers pulled through by beating the Ponies 5-2.

Junior Toby Boyer led the way at No. 1 singles with a win in straight sets, followed by sophomore Hunter Shortly at No. 2 singles, winning 0-6, 6-0, 6-1.

Sophomore Sam Bostrom won at No. 3 singles, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2, while sophomore Ben Bowes pulled out a third-set tiebreaker win at No. 4 singles, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6.

In doubles, the No. 1 duo of senior Sam Hamilton and junior Brendan Babcock fell to Daniel Ahrendt and Jack Leach, 1-6, 5-7.

Sophomores Ross Schultz and Noah Alm won, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, after a long battle which came to a third-set tiebreaker at the second doubles spot, while sophomore Cole Emly and junior Andrew Kezar fell 3-6, 3-6.

Two days later, the Rangers traveled to Stillwater again for a tournament. Forest Lake placed fourth of eight teams while missing three players due to ACT testing.

Shortly placed third at the No. 1 singles spot, and Bostrom took second place at No. 2 singles. Bowes was second at the third singles spot, while senior Ben Nielson took second at No. 4 singles.

Hamilton and Emly took fourth place at No. 2 doubles.

While head coach Greg Patchin said it was a good experience, he believes his squad would have taken first or second with its full roster.

On Monday, Forest Lake lost narrowly to Chisago Lakes, 3-4.

Winning were Boyer at No. 1 singles, Bowes at No. 4 singles, and Alm and Schultz at No. 2 doubles.

Forest Lake traveled to Woodbury on Tuesday, and the Rangers host White Bear Lake at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.