TENNIS: Bemidji falls to Moorhead 4-3 in section opener
SARTELL — During the regular season the Bemidji boys tennis team posted a pair of 5-2 victories over Moorhead. Spearheading those team successes were wins in the individual matches that were extended to three sets.
Tuesday in the first round of the Section 8-2A tournament the teams met again. This time, however, Moorhead claimed both of the three-set matches and those decisions proved critical as the Spuds claimed a 4-3 win.
“Moorhead flipped over the tie-breakers,” said Bemidji coach Mark Fodness whose team ended the spring 11-4. “During the regular season things went our way but today they went the other way.
“I think Moorhead played a little better in some key spots and we might have played not quite as well.”
The Lumberjacks won two of the three doubles matches but Moorhead prevailed in three of the four singles battles.
Noah Holter was Bemidji’s lone singles winner as he earned a 6-3, 6-3 triumph at third singles.
“Noah played his best match of the year,” Fodness said. “He was very strong on Tuesday.”
Robert Treuer and Alec Hess teamed for a 6-1, 6-1 victory at first doubles while Sam Howard and Kole Pankow prevailed 6-1, 6-3 at second.
“Robert and Alec hadn’t played together all year but they did very well Tuesday,” Fodness said. “Sam and Kole also had a very nice day.”
The outcome turned at fourth singles and third doubles where Moorhead won three-set matches.
At fourth singles Bemidji’s Gabe Heifort forced the extra session with a 6-1 win in the second set. But Moorhead’s Ethan Glidden took the third set and the match 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
Lumberjacks Garret Atteberry and Evan White took a lead in the third doubles match by winning the first set 6-2. Their Moorhead opponents, however, won the second set 7-6 (7-3) and capped their day with a 7-5 win in the decisive third set.
At first singles Matt Hokanson fell 6-2, 6-3 and Isak Sommer dropped a 6-1, 6-0 decision at second singles.
“This has been a season that you took day by day because of the late start and the compacted playing time,” Fodness said. “The boys played very well all year and every day they went out and did the best that they could. It was just a year when you could always expect the unexpected.”
The individual stage of the section tournament begins Thursday in Brainerd. Representing the Jacks in doubles will be Hokanson and Holter (the second seeds) plus Sommer and Heifort (the fifth seeds). Hokanson and Holter received a first-round bye while Sommer and Heifort will open against Brendan Holm and Mathias Burban.
Bemidji’s representatives in singles play will be Howard and Treuer and both are unseeded. Howard will open against fourth-ranked D.J. Kramer of Brainerd while Treuer’s opponent will be sixth-seeded Brandon Schuchard of Sartell.
Moorhead 4, Bemidji 3
Steinwand (M) def. Hokanson 6-2, 6-3
K.Meyer (M) def. Sommer 6-1, 6-0
Holter (B) def. W.Meyer 6-0, 6-3
Glidden (M) def. Heifort 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
Treuer and Hess (B) def. Cela and Pedersen 6-1, 6-1
Howard and Pankow (B) def. O’Meara and Dang 6-1, 6-3
Schroeder and Borgen (M) def. Atteberry and White 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5