A sweep in doubles secures a 5-3 win for boys varsity tennis against Byron Center


In contrast to many games so far this season, it was FHC’s doubles teams that stole the show on Wednesday afternoon. Traveling to Byron Center, the boys varsity tennis team had its hands full with one of the best teams in the conference. Embracing such a daunting conference schedule is something that the team has successfully executed; it doesn’t get much tougher than the OK White.

“We have to be prepared mentally and physically for every conference match,” head coach Dan Bolhouse said. 

With the exception of junior standout Sammy Yin, FHC saw itself down early with multiple losses in the singles category. Despite taking Byron Center to three sets, junior Chris Shang and sophomore Nico Notarnicola fell barely short. When all was said and done, Sammy’s victories of 6-2 and 6-0 over his opponent stood as the only win for the Ranger singles teams.

Although the Bulldogs racked up three quick wins in singles, FHC rebounded to a massive extent. The Rangers would need a sweep in doubles to emerge victoriously; they did just that. With its backs against the wall, the team embarked on a season-defining run that would clinch the win. 

Senior captains Walker Sjolin and Cully Herbert picked up right where they left off with a dominating performance; the leading duo for FHC lost just two games across two sets. Likewise, sophomore Philip Murdock teamed up with senior Devin Holcomb to continue their winning streak. These two teams have played exceptionally well as of late.

The second and fourth doubles teams for FHC bounced back to put the icing on the cake and cap it off. Senior Nick Yasenchak and junior Noah Kriekard dropped the first set but would proceed to handle their Bulldog counterpart by consecutive scores of 6-1. Similarly, the underclassmen duo of freshman Willem Knoester and sophomore Alex Chen won easily after losing in the first set. These two comparable wins secured FHC’s victory for the day, as the 5-3 win over Byron Center was made possible by the doubles squads. 

“Our doubles teams have been playing at an extremely high level,” senior Noah Moore said. “They came to play against Byron and got us the win.”

Looking ahead, the Rangers tennis squad hosts a quad on Saturday, September 25. The demanding schedule faced by the boys in 2021 continues to equip them for tougher, more competitive matches down the road.

“It’s a challenge for our boys because we play in a tough conference,” coach Bolhouse said. “We have no easy days, which prepares us for the postseason.”