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Bemidji HS boys tennis: Weaver, Holter advance to state

Bemidji's Sam Weaver and Ben Holter completed an upset sweep though the Section 8AA doubles tennis tournament Wednesday, beating St. Michael-Albertville and Alexandria to advance to the state tournament.

They will begin play Thursday morning in Minneapolis.

The Weaver-Holter duo, the north's fourth seed, began their historic journey through the sectional Tuesday by upsetting the south champions Keagan Blancke and Zac Carter of Elk River 6-4, 6-3.

They returned Wednesday morning to oust Brock Reinschmidt and Tanner Krutzig of SMA 7-6 (8-5), 7-6 (7-3) in a marathon and came back to take the title from Reggie Ronning and Conner Illies of Alexandria, the north half champions 7-5, 3-6, 6-1,

Ronning and Illies had beaten Bemidji in the semifinals of the sub-section meet.

The two wins lifted the late formed tandem to 8-3 on the year.

They played No. 1-2 singles until the tournaments.

"They get better each time out," said Coach Scott Engelstad. "They should be ready to make a good run at the state."

It is the first Bemidji tandem to gain the state since Austin Seaverson and Peder Engelstad completed a three year run in 2002 placing fourth in their junior and senior years.

They lost their first match in 2000 when there was no consolation bracket.

Reinschmidt and Krutzig were facing Ronning and Illies in the true second match for the second section berth at the state meet.

Brandon O'Connell of Elk River took the singles title 6-3, 6-1 over Tyler Hjalmquist of Moorhead.

Hjalmquist and Devin Larson of Brainerd were matched in the true second match for the state.