Girls varsity tennis places third at MHSAA Regionals


To cap off the wild ride that has been the 2021 spring season, the girls varsity tennis team traveled to Forest Hills Northern for the MHSAA Regional Tournament. The girls have endured an extremely challenging season, whether it be the boatload of COVID-19 restrictions or the increased in-conference strength of schedule. While FHC’s third singles and doubles teams broke out for a big day, the overall competition was too steep and the Rangers could not come away with a win in any bracket. 

At third singles, senior Emily Johnson showed what she was waiting for all year. The captain dominated Lowell and the following round, setting her up for a potential win in her bracket. Alas, a matchup with the always-outstanding Northern Huskies in the finals brought the four-year varsity player to her knees.

Likewise, the Rangers’ third doubles team played exceptionally well. The duo of freshman Lucy Wu and sophomore Ella Hunnewell had a breakout year, to say the least. Their run in this tournament is a testament to their hard work and progression this season. The pair handled Kenowa Hills, which the two followed by squeaking past their opponent from East Grand Rapids. Despite winning the first set in the finals, FHN’s firepower was simply too much for the underclassmen. The Huskies closed out the match with yet another victory.

Such success has been made possible this season by the Lady Rangers’ ambitious nature and their constant grind to improve.

“The girls always brought a positive outlook into every match and they worked hard at every practice,” head coach Dan Bolhouse said. “That shows resilience and work ethic.”

Freshman phenom Lily Ohlman got the nod at first singles for the day and proved that she earned it. Lily reached the semifinals before falling to EGR in a competitive match. On a similar note, senior Delaney Michalski and sophomore Brooke Kushak teamed up at first doubles to knock off Kenowa Hills in a convincing fashion. However, their ensuing opponent from East Grand Rapids would come away with a win in the semifinals by scores of 6-4 and 6-0. 

On the day, FHC notched 14 team points. This was enough to place third; however, the girls did not reach the state tournament. While this is a disappointment to both the players and coaching staff, the improvement of the girls on this team has been severely noticeable and cannot be understated.

“I’m proud of so many things, seeing each girl improve so much in the past three months,” coach Bolhouse said. “I’ve also watched the girls mature and learn to fight through adversity, which is a vital lesson to learn in tennis, sports, and life.”

As the season comes to a close, special thanks must be given to seniors Olivia Hooper, Emily Johnson, Delaney Michalski, Lily Campbell, and Maddie Knoor for their leadership and contributions to the underclassmen. This is a group that will be missed and remembered for years to come.