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Jacks top TRF in section tune up

Emma Nielsen, playing No. 1 doubles, returns a volley against Thief River Falls opponents Thursday night. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

The Bemidji girls tennis team tuned for Saturday's section playdowns in Sartell by dumping Thief River Falls 6-1 Thursday in Bemidji.

"The regular season is over," said BHS coach Mark Fodness. "We'll have a light practice on Friday and get on the bus early Saturday morning."

The day will start with the first two rounds of the North team tournament. The first round of the individual (singles and doubles) tournament will also be played Saturday.

The team and individual survivors will return to Sartell Tuesday when the section team champion will be crowned and the North and South semifinalists will be determined.

The section singles and doubles championships will be determined Thursday.

Bemidji was awarded the top seed in the section team rankings and will have a first-round bye in Saturday's section tournament.

Alexandria was given the second seed and Brainerd was rated third. Completing the seedings were Fergus Falls at No. 4, Moorhead at No. 5, Detroit Lakes at No. 6 and Little Falls at No. 7.

Saturday's team pairings match Alexandria against Little Falls, Brainerd against Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls against Moorhead.

Bemidji received a first-round bye and will begin its team tournament action 1:30 p.m. Saturday against the Fergus Falls-Moorhead winner.

If the Jacks survive that test they will advance to the section semifinals and an 8 a.m. Tuesday match.

In Saturday's individual tournament BHS will have Cortne and Jessica Solberg team in doubles along with Emma Nielsen and Katie Ditmanson.

­Handling the singles duties will be Amy Frosaker and Claudia Bellew.

The Lumberjacks had little trouble downing Thief River Falls Thursday as they swept the doubles matches and took three of the four singles battles.

Cortne Solberg was a 6-0, 6-0 winner at first singles while Frosaker cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win at second. Bellew posted a 6-0, 6-2 win at third but Francesca Huerd dropped a 6-0, 6-2 decision at fourth.

At first doubles Nielsen and Ditmanson collected a 7-5, 6-1 win. Haley Pollock and Mackenzie Schultz teamed for a 6-1, 6-4 victory at second doubles and the team of Lauren Lund and Jenna Lee won 6-2, 7-6 at third.

In exhibition play, Olivia Dickinson and Annika Johnson won 6-1, 6-2 and Cassie Bucher dropped an 8-2 singles decision.

Bemidji ended the regular season 7-10 after losing 3-0 Thursday at Detroit Lakes.

"We definitely had our opportunities but we're in a rut offensively," said BHS coach Kelly Schoonover. "We played on even terms with Detroit Lakes but most of our shots came from outside. We need to work on getting inside the 18-yard box on offense."

The Lakers scored 21 minutes into the action and iced the win with a goal three minutes into the second half and another goal two minutes later.

Casey Palmer finished with six saves in the Bemidji net while the Lumberjacks sent seven shots at the Detroit Lakes netminder.

The Jacks will open the section tournament Tuesday but Schoonover doesn't know where Bemidji will play. She is hoping that BHS will receive a top-four seed and earn a home game but the coaches won't determine that until this weekend.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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