GRAND RAPIDS -- The Bemidji tennis team played some close matches Thursday but ultimately couldn't make up the ground against Grand Rapids, losing to the host team 5-2.
The Lumberjacks, who were missing three players from their normal rotation, had lost to the Thunderhawks earlier in the year and had hoped to get them back in their last meet of the regular season.
Instead, the Thunderhawks proved too tough, as they swept all four singles matches.
The Lumberjacks did, however, win two of three doubles matches to avoid the sweep.
"I'm pretty pleased with our performance overall," head coach Mark Fodness said. "I'm as happy you can be with a 2-5 loss.
"We kinda put players in some different places that they haven't been in before, and we still did pretty well."
Noah Holter and Matt Hokanson played especially well in their No. 2 doubles match. They beat Dalton Anderson and Evan Reitter in three sets, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1. They will be playing No. 2 doubles in the individual section tournament next week, and Fodness said they played very well in preparation.
"It was a great match for them," he said. "It was good for them to get that confidence."
Juniors Nick Sledge and Robert Treuer also won their No. 3 doubles match, stepping in and winning in three sets, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
"It was great to see those good scores from the young guys," Fodness said.
Austin Korczak and Craig Lindseth, who usually play doubles, both played singles today and did admirably. Korczak lost to Evan Peterson in three sets while Lindseth lost in two.
"Austin hasn't played singles in a long time," Fodness said. "He played terrific."
Despite the loss, the Lumberjacks don't look at it as a negative -- Grand Rapids is not in their section and Fodness said it's good tennis to bring into the postseason.
"It was a good productive meet," he said. "I think this will carry over some great momentum for us going into the playoffs next week."
The Lumberjacks are scheduled to participate in the Class 8-AA northern team sections Tuesday and individual sections Thursday in Brainerd.
Grand Rapids 5, Bemidji 2
1. Stefanich (GR) def. Hess (B) 6-1, 6-2
2. Feot-Johnson (GR) def. Somer (B) 7-5, 6-3
3. Peterson (GR) def. Korczak (B) 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
4. Pallin (GR) def. Lindseth (B) 6-0, 6-2
1. Becker/Hoolihan (GR) def. Fodness/A. Holter (B) 6-2, 6-3
2. N. Holter/ Hoaknson (B) def. Anderson/Reitter (GR) 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
3. Sledge/ Treuer (B) def. Ericson/ Losik (GR) 1-6, 7-5, 6-3