UPDATED 10/6: Tennis enters playoffs

Senior Kaitlyn Culver makes a return against East Ridge.

UPDATE, Oct. 6: The Rangers were defeated 7-0 by Princeton in the quarterfinal round of the Section 7AA tournament on Oct. 5.

UPDATE, Oct. 5: The Rangers won their round of 16 match in the Section 7AA tournament, defeating St. Francis 4-3 on Oct. 4.

No. 1 singles: St. Francis – Marlis Green def. Noelle Gorka 6-1, 5-7, 10-4
No. 2 singles: Forest Lake – Jenna Zowin def. Noelle Meyers 6-1, 6-3
No. 3 singles: St. Francis – Jenna Koch def. Annika Lamppa 6-4, 3-6, 10-6
No. 4 singles: Forest Lake – Natalie Runquist def. Makenna Schadewald 3-6, 6-0, 6-0

No. 1 doubles: Forest Lake – Kaitlyn Culver & Avery Jorgenson def. Shelby Reynolds & Sadie Pennebaker 6-1, 6-0
No. 2 doubles: Forest Lake – Carrie Voss & Abbi Evans def. Emma Arnold & Samantha Johnson 6-2, 6-3
No. 3 doubles: St. Francis – Kylie Bergmann & Grace Thull def. Biz Valley & Sydney Rydell 7-6 (11-8), 6-2

The Rangers move on to face Princeton on the road Oct. 5.

The following appeared in the Oct. 5 print edition, which went to press before the Rangers played their match against St. Francis:

The Forest Lake girls tennis team completed its regular season run last week and began play in the Section 7AA team tournament on Wednesday.

The Rangers were seeded No. 6 and hosted No. 11 St. Francis on Wednesday afternoon after the press deadline for this edition. The result of that match will be posted to The Times’ website.

If the Rangers won, they will likely travel to No. 3 Princeton on Thursday, unless the Tigers were upset, in which case the Rangers would host No. 14 Andover.

Princeton beat the Rangers 5-2 during the regular season.

“I’d love to get to the final four,” head coach Violet Shortly said. “I think we’re a team that could do it; we could be that dark horse.”

The Rangers finished the season with four wins, including one victory in the notoriously difficult Suburban East Conference.

“Our conference is tougher than our section,” Shortly said, echoing a sentiment that rings true for many Ranger teams. “Many times in our conference, there’s two or three teams that make it to state from their different sections. It’s good for us. I constantly tell the kids that conference play is practice for sections.”

The Rangers lost 6-1 at home against East Ridge on Sept. 28. Freshman Natalie Runquist picked up a win at No. 4 singles, splitting the first two sets 4-6, 7-6 before winning a 10-point tiebreaker over Molly Kamman.

Freshman Natalie Runquist, the lone Ranger winner against East Ridge.

Runquist also won her match in a 5-2 loss to Woodbury on Sept. 26, 6-4, 6-3 over Jaylin Tuman. Seniors Avery Jorgenson and Kaitlyn Culver picked up the win at No. 2 doubles, defeating Mackenzie Robinson and Ashley Stroebel 6-2, 6-3.

Seniors Abbi Evans and Carrie Voss won at No. 2 doubles against Roseville on Sept. 21, 6-3, 6-4 over Sophie Caprella and Liv Haugen. Roseville won the match 6-1.

Upon the conclusion of the regular season, Shortly said, “This has been my favorite group to coach. They’ve learned a lot and gotten better. We competed well in every match.”

With the Section 7AA team tournament underway, the Rangers are also looking ahead to the individual tournament.

The individual tournament is split into two divisions, North and South. Forest Lake will compete in the first three rounds of the South tournament at Elk River on Oct. 10.

Shortly has entered her senior strength in the doubles bracket. Jorgenson and Culver earned the No. 4 seed and will face Cambridge-Isanti’s Lauren Kindem and Julia Riviere-Beleta in the first round. No. 7 Evans and Voss will open against Renae Ingalls and Alice Johnson of Chisago Lakes.

In singles, No. 5 Jenna Zowin will meet Ashley Nelson (Big Lake) and No. 6 Runquist will begin against Aurora Schossow (Princeton).

Any player or duo that survives the first day of play will move on to the combined championship round in Duluth on Oct. 16.