Boys tennis: Jacks give great effort but fall to Becker
ST. CLOUD -- In an individual sport such as tennis, the final team score does not always accurately display the true competitive nature of a meet. Such was the case Tuesday when Becker blanked Bemidji 7-0 in the Section 8-2A semifinals.
"It was really a strange loss because our players and coaching staff walked off the courts feeling like we lost a nailbiter when, in reality, we were shut out," said BHS coach Mark Fodness.
Becker swept the four singles matches in straight sets but two of the sets were extended to extra games before being decided. In doubles action the Lumberjacks came even closer to victory as the second and third matches required three sets while Gabe Heifort and Robert Treuer dropped their first doubles match 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4).
"We knew going in that we likely would have to sweep doubles and hope to get a win in singles," Fodness said. "And if you look at the scores, we came very close to doing just that and winning the match.
"But, at the end of the day, we just couldn't quite pull together a win."
Treuer and Heifort trailed early in their match but battled back to give Becker all it could handle.
"First doubles played very tough," Fodness said. "They were down 1-5 in the first set and came back to lose in a tiebreaker. In the second set the score went back and forth and we lost again in another tiebreaker.
"Gabe and Robert really gave a great effort and could have won each set with a matter of a couple of points changing in each set."
Kole Pankow and Garrett Atteberry dropped a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 decision at second doubles while Rocky Copiskey and Spencer Konecne lost 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 at third.
"When Kole and Garrett stuck to their game plan they were really tough to beat," Fodness said. "But Becker never let up and anytime we gave an opening they took advantage.
"In third doubles, when we kept the ball in play and pressured Becker we won many games. In the third set we just couldn't win the one point we often needed to carry the game and the match."
In singles play Matt Hokanson fell 6-2, 6-2, Noah Holter dropped a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) verdict, Sam Howard tumbled 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 and Kevin Sorenson lost 6-2, 6-1.
"Matt battled and gave a solid effort against a very strong player," Fodness said. "Kevin stepped in and did a nice job and Noah and Sam both had sets that were decided on a couple of shots.
"Overall, I felt the guys put everything they had on the courts," the coach continued. "During the season we were able to win some matches like this one because we were able to close out some contested sets. To Becker's credit, they didn't allow us to do that."
The section individual tournament continues Wednesday and the Lumberjacks have advanced two doubles teams to the quarterfinals. Hokanson and Holter will face a team from St. Michael while Howard and Pankow have drawn a doubles tandem from St. Cloud Tech.
Section 8-2A Semifinals
Becker 7, Bemidji 0
Brown (Becker) def. Hokanson 6-2, 6-2
Borst (Becker) def. Holter 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
Hill (Becker) def. Howard 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
Lefebvre (Becker) def. Sorenson 6-2, 6-1
Tungland and Howard (Becker) def. Heifort and Treuer 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4)
Gudim and Duke (Becker) def. Pankow and Atteberry 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Roemer and Lindquist (Becker) def. Copiskey and Konecne 6-1, 4-6, 6-1