TENNIS: Bemidji opens season with win at East Grand Forks
EAST GRAND FORKS – Heading into Thursday’s season-opening match here the Bemidji High School boys tennis players and coaches didn’t know what to expect.
The team has been confined to occasional practices at the BSU Gillett Recreation and Fitness Center and the true abilities of the players were unknown.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen but, for an opening day and with as little practice as we have had, I was impressed with the kids,” said Lumberjacks coach Mark Fodness.
Bemidji defeated the Green Wave 6-1 and also prevailed in two of the three exhibition doubles matches.
Among the meet’s highlights was Matt Hokanson’s 4-6, 7-5, (7-4) first singles victory over Ty Misialek.
“Last year we defeated East Grand Forks 5-2 but we couldn’t beat either of its top two singles players,” Fodness said. “On Thursday Matt played his best tennis and defeated a player who is ranked very high in the state ratings.
“He lost the first set and was behind 4-5 in the second set before coming back to win the set 7-5,” the coach continued. “And Matt controlled the third-set tie-breaker.”
Noah Holter contributed a 6-2, 6-2 victory at third singles and Alec Hess posted a 6-1, 6-3 triumph at fourth.
The Jacks fell at second singles as Isak Sommer was defeated 6-0, 6-4
Bemidji swept the doubles matches. Sam Howard and Robert Treuer teamed for a 6-3, 6-2 win at first, Garret Atteberry and Gabe Heifort won 6-3, 4-6 (7-5) at second and the team of Kole Pankow and Evan White combined for a 6-1, 6-4 win at third.
“There were some inconsistencies in our play but, overall, I thought the kids played well,” Fodness said. “In doubles many of our players were playing their first important varsity matches and I was encouraged by the results.
“Thursday was a first step and now we have something to build on,” Fodness added.
The Lumberjacks are scheduled to visit Detroit Lakes Tuesday and host Thief River Falls on Thursday. Both of those meets are in jeopardy.
Bemidji 6, East Grand Forks 1
Hokanson (B) def. Misialek 4-6, 7-5, (7-4)
Straw (EGF) def. Sommer 6-0, 6-4
Holter (B) def. Wiertzema 6-2, 6-2
Hess (B) def. Cote 6-1, 6-3
Howard and Treuer (B) def. Campos and Croaker 6-3, 6-2
Atteberry and Heifort (B) def. Johnson and Zeman 6-3, 4-6, (7-5)
Pankow and White (B) def. Cummings and Bechold 6-1, 6-4
Rhen and Gander (EGF) def. Halberg and Minoamillategui 3-6, 7-5, (7-2)
Erickson and Sorenson (B) def. Nelson and Havis 6-4, 7-5
Copiskey and Shultz (B) def. Schlieman and Tice 6-1, 6-1