Tennis: Bemidji overcomes elements to down Grand Rapids, Park Rapids
BEMIDJI -- A strong wind from the northwest and chilly temperatures combined for less than ideal playing conditions when the Bemidji boys tennis team hosted Grand Rapids and Park Rapids in a triangular Thursday but the Jacks made the best of the situation, winning both matches and improving their overall record to 3-0.
In Thursday’s opener BHS outlasted Grand Rapids 4-3, capturing half of the four matches that extended to a third-set tie-breaker. In the final meet of the day the Jacks thumped Park Rapids 7-0.
The difference in the battle with Grand Rapids proved to be the doubles matches as Bemidji went 2-1 in those contests. Among the doubles wins was a key decision at third doubles where Rocky Copiskey and Garrett Atteberry rallied for a 6-7 (4-7), 6-0, (10-8) triumph.
The Lumberjacks also won at second doubles as Kole Pankow and Sam Howard breezed to a 6-3, 6-1 victory.
At first doubles Gabe Heifort and Robert Treuer fell 6-2, 6-4.
Bemidji and Grand Rapids split the four singles matches. The Lumberjacks prevailed at first and fourth while the Thunderhawks won at second and third, both in tie-breakers.
The first singles match also required a third set and Bemidji’s Matt Hokanson eventually claimed a 2-6, 6-3, (10-6) decision.
BHS also posted a victory at fourth singles where Spencer Konecne belted Lars Anderson 6-0, 6-0.
At second singles Bemidji’s Noah Holter fell 4-6, 6-4, (14-12) while teammate Evan White was edged 6-0, 2-6, (11-9) at third singles.
“The conditions were really tough on everyone but I thought our guys handled the conditions well and adjusted their play,” said BHS coach Mark Fodness. “Against Grand Rapids we couldn’t be quite as aggressive as we wanted to be but we toughed out some points at critical times.
“We knew going in that it was going to be close. Having four matches go to third-set tie-breakers are the kind of matches that test a team’s mental toughness.”
Hokanson’s victory set the tone for the team win, according to Fodness.
“Matt had a big comeback win for us and played well down the stretch,” the coach said. “He really lifted his game to bring the team a critical point. Second doubles also had a solid performance and Spencer had a nice win at fourth singles. Our fourth point was won by our third doubles where Garret and Rocky had to battle to win.
“Even in the matches we lost we really had some battles and I think we’ll have the chance to see improvements when we can get on the courts for practice,” Fodness added.
Park Rapids proved to be no match for the Jacks as BHS swept the Panthers, needing a third set only at first doubles.
Hokanson breezed to a 6-0, 6-0 win while White coasted to a 6-1, 6-1 triumph at second singles.
Konecne posted a 6-0, 6-0 shutout at third and Nick Schultz collected a 6-0, 6-1 victory at fourth singles.
Heifort and Treuer were extended to three sets at first doubles but eventually prevailed 6-2, 4-6, (10-5).
Atteberry and Copiskey teamed for a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles and Kyle Labernik joined Brad Kovacovich for a 6-0, 6-1 victory at third doubles.
“Overall, we had a good team performance on Thursday,” Fodness said. “It was nice to see some players get into the lineup and get some experience.”
The Jacks return to action Monday when they travel to Moorhead to take on the Spuds at 1 p.m. and Fergus Falls at 2:30 p.m.
Bemidji 4, Grand Rapids 3
Hokanson (B) def. Fedje-Johnson 2-6, 6-3, (10-6)
Pallin (GR) def. Holter 4-6, 6-4, (14-12)
Anderson (GR) def. White 6-0, 2-6, (11-9)
Konecne (B) def. Anderson 6-0, 6-0
Dulong and Mattson (GR) def. Heifort and Treuer 6-2, 6-4
Pankow and Howard (B) def. Adams and Soderburg 6-3, 6-1
Copiskey and Atteberry (B) def. Tatter and Hemmila 6-7 (4-7), 6-0, (10-8)
Bemidji 7, Park Rapids 0
Hokanson (B) def. Lopez 6-0, 6-0
White (B) def. Bruce 6-1, 6-1
Konecne (B) def. Wallace 6-0, 6-0
Schultz (B) def. Booge 6-0, 6-1
Heifort and Treuer (B) def. Bateman and Dickinson 6-2, 4-6, (10-5)
Atteberry and Copiskey (B) def. Kimball and McKeever 6-1, 6-1
Labernik and Kovacovich (B) def. Porozinski and N.Booge 6-0, 6-1