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FHC Sports Report

The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

Boys varsity tennis is victorious over Byron Center 5-3


Just ten minutes into the competition, FHC’s boys varsity tennis team found themselves straining to get ahead of Byron Center in their matches, excluding stellar tandem senior Alex Chen and junior Willem Knoester at two doubles. Chen and Knoester eventually triumphed over their opponents 6-1 6-2, making for an overall 5-3 win over Byron Center.

“We were able to work through difficult points,” Knoester said. “We played through most of our match pretty cleanly. Whenever we had a difficult point or game in the match, we were able to work well together and get back into a good rhythm.”

Their victory vertebrated across the team’s results, with wins also being collected at one, three, and four doubles, along with three singles. The clear success obtained by FHC’s doubles flights only resulted through tedious and drawn-out matches, however—especially at three doubles, consisting of sophomore Hayden Tanner and senior Will Hoffman.

Tanner and Hoffman stepped off the court with a nail-biting 7-5 7-5 victory. Their eventual win was a series of back-and-forth games, with the boys’ match lasting nearly two hours. Their match can be paralleled to one doubles, where seniors Philip Murdock and Nico Notarnicola were victorious; their score was 7-6 (4) 6-2. Lastly, the four doubles match also proved to favor FHC, as their score was 6-2 7-5.

Ranked ninth in Division II for boys tennis, the Bulldogs are known to pose a threat; they are also included in the OK White Conference.

“They are a high-ranking conference opponent,” Knoester said. “It’s always good to do well against them because they consistently line up well with other opponents that we have to be better than.”

However, the potential Byron Center had to produce losses on FHC’s side was more present in the singles lineup. FHC’s boys singles athletes, a formidable bunch, met their equals against Byron Center last night. Out of the four singles positions, only sophomore Frey Wu at three singles was able to garner a win. After a slow start, trailing behind his opponent 3-2, Wu executed an admirable comeback to regain the set 6-3, then won the second set 6-2.

The rest of the singles matches fell in Byron Center’s favor. Four singles, freshman Jakob Rietema, lost to his opponent 6-4 6-2 after an optimistic beginning.

“I could have been a lot more consistent,” Rietema said. “I made way too many unforced errors; my match certainly could have been better in that way.”

Even with his loss, positives remain, as oftentimes, the score of a tennis match doesn’t tell the whole story.

“However, I was really consistent with my second serves,” Rietema said. “I also had a lot of really good first serves due to setup, making for aces.”

Rietema’s match results can be paralleled to one and two singles, junior William Wen and sophomore Franklin Feng. Shortly into his match, Wen was trailing his opponent, Brady Pettit, 4-3. His slow warmup wore off then, and he came roaring back to claim the first set 7-5. A lengthy second set ensued, but Wen fell in the end: 5-7 6-4 6-3. His loss comes after another long match, just as two singles Franklin Feng’s was; Feng was toppled by his opponent 6-4 7-5.

This win over Byron Center is just one of many for boys varsity tennis recently. But credit cannot fully go to the athletes, as longtime head coach Dan Bolhouse has been coaching his teams to success at FHC since 2012.

“I like to coach my kids to where they learn to think on their own,” Bolhouse said. “The point of it is to make them better tennis players but also better people. I develop a relationship with them to the point where they know I’m 100% in their corner, but not jumping up and down or being overly loud during their matches.”

His coaching philosophies reflect well on the boys’ results, especially recently against Byron Center. Byron Center’s recent impressive results make this win to be even more substantial.

“I knew we were gonna have to battle for every win that we got,” Bolhouse said. “Byron Center’s one of those teams where every match we win against them counts. I’m happy for the team and our results.”

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About the Contributor
Lily Ohlman
Lily Ohlman, Editor-in-Chief
Lily is a senior entering her second year on the FHC Sports Report staff, this year as Editor-in-Chief. She plays varsity tennis, is involved with the Environmental Club, and loves to immerse herself in environmental matters and concerns. Lily is additionally deeply passionate about wellness, chai tea lattes, candles, and the rain. Apart from being on the tennis court or in the classroom, she enjoys discovering new coffee shops and trying new dinner spots. Her favorite sports team is the Michigan Wolverines. If asked about the book series Throne of Glass, she would probably throw a fit of excitement. Her dream destination: Scotland Her favorite season: She cannot decide between fall or spring Something unusual she loves: The celestial world above Something she hates: The fact she can't read all the books ever written  

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