Schools from the Twin Cities suburbs and private institutions traditionally dominate Minnesota’s Class 2A tennis scene and an outstate public school program has to be strong to receive any recognition in the rankings.
Heading into this week Edina, Rochester Mayo, Minnetonka, Wayzata and Prior Lake are the top five teams, according to the coaches poll, and Rochester Century, Chanhassen, Delano, St. Cloud Tech and Mankato West complete the top 10.
Holding its own with the top teams, however, is Bemidji. The Lumberjacks are 10-0 in duals and have finished first, second and third in three multi-team tournaments.
BHS will close the regular season Tuesday when it faces Crookston in Grand Forks and stops in East Grand Forks on the way home for a dual with the Green Wave.
Earlier this fall the Lumberjacks defeated East Grand Forks 5-2 and 6-1 and stopped Crookston 6-1.
“It’s nice to see Bemidji make the list of top 15 teams,” said Jacks coach Mark Fodness. “It’s nice for us to be noticed.”
The tennis team is the first BHS program to begin its postseason. The Jacks will participate in the Section 8-2A team tournament Friday in Sartell and should be seeded either No. 1 or No. 2 in the North half, battling Alexandria for the top spot.
Alexandria owns a 16-2 dual record while Bemidji is 10-0. The teams did not face each other this fall but each has victories over Brainerd, Fergus Falls and Moorhead.
Joining Bemidji and Alexandria in the North Division are Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Thief River Falls.
In the South Division, St. Cloud Tech will be rated first by virtue of its 11-1 record. Likely to be second is Willmar (10-5) while Monticello (12-9) probably will be third.
The Section 8-2A individual tournament begins Oct. 11.
Volleyball on the road
Last year the BHS volleyball team advanced to the state tournament and this year’s edition has picked up where its predecessor left off.
Thursday the Lumberjacks improved to 10-3 with a convincing win over Grand Rapids. BHS claimed the first set 25-20 and, after making enough mistakes to allow the Thunderhawks to even the match with a 25-19 victory in the second set, the Jacks dominated the final two games, winning each 25-16.
Alexa Greendahl dished 48 set assists Thursday which her hitters used to blast BHS to the win.
Jess Yost ripped 26 winners while Timi Severson had 19 and Allie Heifort 13.
On Tuesday Greendahl and her teammates will head to East Grand Forks and on Friday and Saturday the Jacks will compete in a tournament in St. Michael.
The cross country teams, fresh off their appearances at Saturday’s giant Roy Griak meet at the University of Minnesota, are off until Saturday when they travel to the Alexandria Invitational.
The boys and girls soccer teams make the only home BHS appearances of the week. The girls entertained Crookston Monday while the boys host Moorhead 5 p.m. Friday, trying to avenge the season’s first loss which came last week at Moorhead.
The girls team also visits Detroit Lakes Thursday and heads to Hillcrest Lutheran Academy on Saturday while the boys began their week with Monday’s game at East Grand Forks.
The swimmers and divers enter the week unbeaten in dual competition. Last week the Jacks blistered neighborhood rival Park Rapids 104-82 and tonight they head west to take on Grand Forks Central. Their week also includes Saturday’s action at the Duluth East Invitational.
The football team will conclude its regular season road schedule Friday at Alexandria.
The Lumberjacks will end the year at home, hosting Sauk Rapids on Oct. 12 and Sartell on Oct. 17.