Boys varsity tennis fights to no end against FHN and ties 4-4



Just two short seasons ago, the FHC boys varsity tennis team had an incredibly talented and experienced team. The boys enjoyed tremendous success that year; however, the Huskies of Forest Hills Northern had FHC’s number throughout the season.

The road to a state title in 2019 undoubtedly ran through the Huskies, and it showed when FHN clinched the highest honor in Division Two. Central and Northern have butted heads in recent years; the rival matchups seem to always exceed expectations. This clash was on display on Monday in a hotly-contested match that would end in a 4-4 tie between the two teams. Considering FHN’s status as a top program in the state, the Rangers’ capacity to play stride-for-stride with the Huskies reflects some of the ability that the boys have been striving for all season.

“Before the season started, we discussed what our team goals are, and what we need to do to achieve them,” head coach Dan Bolhouse said. “The team is coming close to our expectations.”

Juniors Sammy Yin and Chris Shang have been unexplainably dominant this year; they put on a show against Northern in some phenomenal points. These two obviously have significant hopes for the postseason, and their performance against a state-renowned program puts them in a solid position morale-wise.

The best matchup of the day came from the doubles side, as senior captains Walker Sjolin and Cully Herbert teamed up to take home two incredibly hard-fought sets by consecutive scores of 6-4. However, perhaps the most important match came from FHC’s third doubles team. Senior Devin Holcomb and Philip Murdock have formed the perfect combination this season; this was on full display against FHN. After dropping the first set by two matches, Devin and Philip turned up the intensity by a few notches. The senior-sophomore tandem would go on a rampage and turn the tables on the Huskies for a huge three-set comeback win. Had Devin and Philip been defeated, FHC would have received the overall loss on the day. 

“It was a great win against a tough team,” Devin said post-match. “It feels good to beat your rival, especially when they’re so good.”

Standing between FHC and the OK White Conference Meet is just one more dual conference match. On Wednesday, September 29, the Rangers travel to Grand Rapids Christian to take on the Eagles. The makeup of the schedule this year has been designed to prepare the boys for this very stretch.

“I’ve put together a very challenging schedule against some great programs, which has helped us improve so much this season,” coach Bolhouse said. “We will be ready to finish our conference dual matches and the conference tournament on Friday.”