Bemidji tennis team opens season with big tournament victory
PINE CITY – The first day of competition couldn’t have gone much better for the Bemidji High School tennis team.
The Lumberjacks traveled to the Pine City Invitational Monday and, for the first time since they started competing in the tournament, came home victorious.
The Lumberjacks had four first-place finishers – including two of the four singles players and two of the three doubles players.
“We could hardly ask for a better start,” Lumberjacks head coach Mark Fodness said. “It was a terrific day for tennis, and we played to the weather. We just played extremely well.”
The Lumberjacks won the 10-team tournament with a score of 33 points. Rochester Lourdes took second with 25 points, Red Wing took third at 24 and Staples Motley took fourth at 20.
Aside from the fact that it’s Bemidji’s first-ever win in 20 years at Pine City, making it even more impressive is the fact that two teams the Lumberjacks beat are ranked in the top ten.
Staples Motley was No. 5 in the Minnesota State High School Tennis Coaches’ Association preseason poll in Class A. Lourdes is ranked No. 7 in the same poll.
“There are always some high-level teams at this tournament,” Fodness said. “This is a good tournament and this was a very challenging one to win. I’m very proud of our effort.
Claudia Bellew won No. 2 singles and Alexis Konecne took first at No. 3 singles.
Annika Johnson and Olivia Dickinson took first at No. 1 doubles while Amy Frosaker and Kenzie Schultz won No. 2 doubles.
Jessica Solberg won third at No. 1 singles after defeating Emily Steoga of Red Wing in a dramatic 6-7, 6-3 (7-4) match. Megan Serratore took third at No. 3 singles while Jenna Lee, Claire Baumgartner, Nicollete Roy and Sara McNallan combined to take No. 3 doubles.
“If the worst performance in this tournament is third place, that says something,” Fodness said.
The Lumberjacks return to the court next Monday, Aug. 27, when they’ll travel to Brainerd for a dual meet.
Pine City Tournament
Bemidji 33, Rochester Lourdes 25, Red Wing 24, Staples Motley 20, Pine City, Litchfield, North Branch, Mounds Park Academy
No. 1 singles – Jessica Solberg
Solberg def. Abby Croonquist (Mounds Park Academy), 6-2, 6-2
Solberg lost to Sofia Terzic (Lourdes), 2-6, 1-6
Solberg def. Emily Stegora (Red Wing), 6-7, 6-3 (7-4)
No. 2 Singles – Claudia Bellew
Bellew def. Ali McGraw (Litchfield), 6-1, 6-1
Bellew def. Grace Wolhowe (Staples-Motley), 6-2, 6-2
Bellew def. Solveig Christenson (Red Wing), 6-2 ,6-4
No. 3 Singles – Alexis Konecne
Konecne def. Alyssa Nordberg (North Branch), 6-2, 6-0
Konecne def. Emily Otteson (Red Wing), 6-3, 6-3
Konecne def. Sydney Allison (Rochester Lourdes), 6-4, 6-4
No. 4 Singles – Megan Serratore
Serratore def. Megan Aadland (Pine City), 6-1, 6-1
Serratore lost to Morley Struss (Red Wing), 3-6, 2-6
Serratore def. Kandra Stone (Mounds Park Academy), 6-0, 6-1
No 1 Doubles – Annika Johnson/ Olivia Dickinson
Johnson/Dickinson def. Maggie O’Keefe/Ann Kautto, (Staples Motley), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
Johnson/Dickinson def. Katie Kellie/ Megan Clemous (Red Wing), 6-0, 6-2
Johnson/Dickinson def. Rachel Morice/Lucy Hansen (Lourdes), 6-1 ,6-4
No. 2 Doubles – Amy Frosaker/Kenzie Schultz
Frosaker/Schultz def. Lauren Brooks/Maddie Flack (Red Wing), 6-3, 7-5
Frosaker/Schultz def. Brooke Wolhowe/Kelsey Zeta (Staples Motley), 6-4, 7-6
Frosaker/Schultz def. Grace Gorman/Shanna Pedersen (Lourdes), 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 Doubles – Jenna Lee/Claire Baumgartner
Lee/Baumgartner def. Ellen Gorman/Molly Belda (Lourdes), 6-0, 6-2
Lee/Baumgartner lost to Emily Isrickson/Vikki Edin (Staples Motley), 0-6, 1-6
Nicollete Roy/Sara McNallan def. Grace Rollins/ Samantha Weiss (North Branch), 6-1, 6-1