The Forest Lake boys tennis team bounced back from losses to Roseville and Hastings last Tuesday and Wednesday to record wins over two section rivals on Saturday.
The Rangers traveled to Andover for a triangular over the weekend and swept the host Huskies 7-0.
All of the Ranger singles players won in straight sets, starting with junior Toby Boyer at the top singles spot and followed by sophomores Hunter Shortly, Sam Bostrom and Ben Bowes.
Senior Sam Hamilton and junior Brendan Babcock won 7-5, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles. Sophomores Noah Alm and Ross Schultz won 6-2, 6-3 at the second position. Juniors Riley Schilling and Parker Campobasso moved up from junior varsity for the day to earn a win at No. 3 doubles, 7-5, 6-4.
The Rangers then beat St. Francis 5-2.
Boyer remained unbeaten on the year with a 6-0, 6-0 blowout at No. 1 singles. Shortley, Bostrom and Bowes followed suit with 6-0, 6-0 wins at the remaining singles slots. Alm and Schultz earned the fifth win at No. 2 doubles, 6-4, 6-4.
Head coach Greg Patchin was pleased with the wins, saying his team did a nice job of sealing the victories despite some holes in the lineup.
“We were still missing the bottom end of our roster of Cole Emly, Ben Nielson and Andrew Kezar,” Patchin said. “But Riley Schilling and Parker Campobasso played pretty well. Sometimes when kids play up, they show more of what they have.”
Another noteworthy occurrence on the week happened when the former top-ranked singles player and reigning Class AA state champion Joey Richards of Minnetonka lost to Burnsville eighth-grader Paul McCallie, who Boyer beat earlier this season. The loss by Richards moved Boyer into the No. 1 ranking this week ahead of Richards (No. 2), Jesse Sprinkel of Minneapolis South and Josh Gearou of Elk River.
“I’m pretty biased, but I always thought Toby was better (than Richards), and Toby will tell you that last year he lost some focus for maybe 15 minutes at the start of the match or five minutes later on during the finals — and that cost him the title,” Patchin said. “I don’t think that will happen this year. He seems focused, and if he brings his A-game, he should win. But anything can happen.”
As for the team outlook, a seeding meeting on Sunday, May 18 will determine where the Rangers stand heading into section play.