The team portion of the season ended Tuesday for the Bemidji boys tennis team as the sixth-seeded Lumberjacks fell to No. 3 Sartell 6-1 in the opening round of the Section 8-2A tournament.
The final score was deceiving, however, as BHS gave the favored Sabres all they could handle.
"We lost three of the matches in three sets and Levi Rickert lost only 7-5, 6-4 at first singles," said Bemidji coach Mark Fodness. "We were in just about every match and certainly pushed Sartell hard. But we couldn't quite pick up the key points that we needed to get the victories."
Among the three-set losses was Matt Hokanson's 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 setback at third singles.
"Matt had a tremendous match," Fodness said. "He won the first set and was tied 5-5 in the third. But he came up just a little short."
Bemidji's lone victory came at second singles where Alec Hess dominated Adam Kovrajian 6-2, 6-2.
"Alex played very well," the coach said. "He was in command from the beginning."
The Jacks lost all three doubles matches but extended the outcomes to three sets at first and third.
At first doubles Adam Holter and Kyle Fodness blanked Shawn Kidder and Jared Forst 6-0 in the opening set but the Sartell duo came back to take the match 0-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Zach Hewitt and Austin Korczak followed a similar journey at third doubles, taking the opening set but eventually falling 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
BHS also dropped the second singles match as Craig Lindseth and Jack Boyer were defeated 6-2, 6-3.
"There is a reason why we were seeded sixth and Sartell third," Fodness said. "Sartell is senior dominated and that experience was a factor. But we did give them everything they could handle."
The other 8-2A North first round result saw No. 5 Moorhead topple No. 4 Alexandria 6-1. In the South Sub-section the seedings held true. St. Cloud Tech blanked Big Lake 7-0, Buffalo stopped Monticello 5-2 and St. Michael-Albertville slapped St. Cloud Apollo 5-2.
The South's top-ranked team, Elk River, advanced to the 8-2A final four with a 7-0 victory over St. Michael-Albertville. Second-seeded St. Cloud Tech also advanced after blitzing Buffalo 7-0.
In the North, No. 1 Fergus Falls met Moorhead and No. 2 Brainerd faced Sartell late Tuesday. Those winners will join Tech and Elk River in the final four.
The individual portion of the tournament begins Thursday and Rickert received the fourth seed in singles play.
Rickert will have a bye into the second round and will face the winner of the first-round match between the No. 2 singles players from Brainerd and Moorhead.
If Rickert wins his opener he will advance to the section's final four.
Also representing the Jacks in singles play will be Hess. He was not seeded and will open against Brainerd's better player in the field. Hess' opponent is Brainerd's normal No. 3 singles player as the top two Warriors singles competitors have been moved into the section doubles tournament.
In doubles action Bemidji's representatives will face familiar foes as they both drew the Sartell teams they squared off against on Tuesday.
Adam Holter and Fodness will meet Kidder and Forst while Lindseth and Boyer will match shots with Robbie and Ricky Satterness.
8-2A Tennis Tournament
Sartell 6, Bemidji 1
Storm (S) def. Rickert 7-5, 6-4
Hess (B) def. Kovrajian 6-2, 6-2
Larson-Miller (S) def. Hokanson 5-7, 6-3, 7-5
Zitur (S) def. N.Holter 6-0, 6-2
Kidder and Forst (S) def. A.Holter and Fodness 0-6, 6-3, 6-4
Ro.Satterness and Ri.Satterness (S) def. Lindseth and Boyer 6-2, 6-3
Lorsung and Heinen (S) def. Hewitt and Korczak 4-6, 6-4, 6-0