Boys varsity tennis caps off a huge week with victories over Rockford and St. Francis


The boys varsity tennis team has been turning heads all season. 

This was proved to a large extent when FHC hosted Rockford, a top-tier Division One school, along with Traverse City St. Francis. Remember, the boys had defeated Byron Center and Northview on back-to-back days during the week.

Saturday’s quad at FHC was certainly a high-octane event. In the end, the Rangers would beat out both the Rams and Gladiators by scores of 6-3 and 5-3 respectively. These wins have showcased the team’s outstanding ability to compete with the very best, especially in the doubles category.

“Our doubles tandems are developing a closer bond, and it shows on the court,” head coach Dan Bolhouse said. “They know what their partner will do and because of this, they will put themselves in a better position during points.”

It is hard to deny the brilliance of FHC’s doubles teams as of late. Despite falling just short against St. Francis, seniors Cully Herbert and Walker Sjolin came out on top against Rockford in a game that included an extremely tense final set. In contrast, senior Nick Yasenchak and junior Noah Kriekard lost to Rockford but avenged Cully and Walker with a three-set comeback win over the Gladiators. The steam that the doubles teams are picking up is vital for the team’s state championship hopes. 

“This win and our wins have helped us build confidence and made us a stronger team,” Nick said. “We will carry this support into conferences, regionals, and states.”

Additionally, the underclassmen duo of Willem Knoester and Alex Chen and the sneaky-good combination of senior Devin Holcomb and sophomore Philip Murdock both showcased tremendous ability. These two doubles teams have flown under the radar all year long, catching opponents by surprise. This was no different on Saturday, as each duo went undefeated. 

As expected, juniors Sammy Yin and Chris Shang showed out against both schools. With the exception of one three-set victory for Chris against St. Francis, the superstar duo rolled through opposing players in just two sets. To top it off, sophomore Nico Notarnicola had a huge day against Rockford. The first-year varsity player won the final two sets against the Rams after dropping the first, extending FHC’s lead on the day. This kind of contribution is what has defined the team’s culture all year long. 

The boys have no time to rest, as they host their bitter rival in Forest Hills Northern on Monday, September 27. Northern has been a phenomenal program over recent years, and this inner-district match is shaping up to be a marquee matchup. 

“Mentally, our team has gotten a lot stronger,” coach Bolhouse said. “That plays a huge part in every tennis match.”