Rangers prevail over PatsApril 15, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
FERDINAND — Strong doubles play carried Forest Park (5-0, 1-0) during its 4-1 Pocket Athletic Conference victory over Heritage Hills (3-3, 0-3) on Thursday, but Rangers junior Brooke Haug earned her own emphatic victory at One Singles.
Haug captured a 6-0, 6-0 sweep in a match against Patriots junior Kennedy Tate. The victory served as a catalyst for the Rangers on a breezy April evening.
“I’m super-happy with how Brooke has come along and improved,” Forest Park assistant coach Jen Lusk said. “She’s taken charge of her game. She’s playing really well and playing confident.”
Rangers sophomore Kenzie Schulz tangled with Pats junior Liz Gehlhausen in the evening’s lone three-set match. Schulz lost the first set of the Two Singles match in a tight 6-7 (3-7) affair, but battled back to win the last two sets in 6-4, 6-0 fashion.
“She missed that freshman year of playing, but she’s got a huge heart,” Lusk said. “She works very hard and has a lot of determination. I expect to see some good things coming from her.”
Heritage Hills senior Emily Patmore brought home the Pats’ point at Three Singles. Patmore established a strong all-around game in her 6-3, 6-1 win over Forest Park junior Payton Dilger. Pats head coach Dave Jochim lauded Patmore’s groundstrokes and hustle in her victory.
“Emily is getting better,” Jochim said. “She’s starting to hit the ball deeper. Her groundstrokes are good. She’s not blessed with good foot speed, but she makes up for it with determination and desire.”
Both of Forest Park’s doubles teams showcased assertive attitudes in their respective matches. The senior duo of Molly Lusk and Kaylee Uebelhor defeated Heritage Hills seniors Avery Neff and Liz Mehling in a 6-0, 6-3 One Doubles contest. The victory clinched a key point for Forest Park, but the Rangers did not stop there.
Forest Park sophomore Kaylee Berg and junior Emma Grundhoefer claimed a 6-4, 6-1 win over Heritage Hills junior Kiersten Gogel and senior Braili Schipp at Two Doubles. The victory gave credence to the Rangers’ hard work in practice. An adjustment to the usual regimen gave Forest Park an edge on Thursday.
“Doubles played really well today,” Jen said. “We’ve been working on some doubles drills this week. Instead of working on just single-person strokes, they’ve been working as a team. I could tell, on both courts, that it looked strong.”
Heritage Hills returns for a 5:30 p.m. match against Corydon Central on Monday in Lincoln City. Jochim and the Pats are focused on two key components — effort and preparation.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Jochim said about the upcoming match. “The kids are doing the best they can. That’s all I ask.”
Forest Park plays an 11 a.m. match on Saturday at PAC foe Princeton. The Tigers are a new opponent on Forest Park’s schedule, and the Rangers will need to counter their depth.
“All of our kids will get to play,” Jen said. “That’s good. We’ll try something new. We’ll see what’s out there.”
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