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TENNIS: Bemidji falls to Monticello in section semifinals

SARTELL — The Bemidji High School tennis team dropped its Section 8-2A semifinal match Friday afternoon, falling 5-2 against Monticello at Evolution Fitness in Sartell.

“We knew this would be a close match today one way or the other,” BHS head coach Mark Fodness said. “I thought the girls played really hard. A lot of credit goes to Monticello for playing very well. We knew that they were stronger in singles and we had the advantage in doubles.”

The Magic showed its superiority in that area, sweeping singles play.

Claudia Bellew lost 1-6, 1-6; Alexis Konecne fell 0-6, 6-7 (4-7); Abbie Kelm lost 1-4, 6-4, 3-6 and Sarah McNallan lost 1-6, 1-6.

“The scores don’t indicate how well we played,” Fodness said. “Second singles and third singles were real battles.

“Abbie battled back after dropping the first set one the second set and the third sent went back-and-forth before Monticello won.

“I was really proud of the girls for how well they played in all those singles matches but we just couldn’t quite get the point we needed.”

In doubles play, Annika Johnson and Olivia Dickenson rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 victory in first doubles and Jenna Lee and Mackenzie Schultz won 6-1, 6-4.

Nicolette Roy and Kayla Snell lost 6-4, 3-6 (8-10).

“First and second doubles both played very well and we just hoped they’d be playing with the match on the line,” Fodness said. “It was a hard-fought battle between two closely-matched teams send Monticello was able to hold on its critical points.”

The Lumberjacks are out of the team competition but Johnson and Dickenson return to the court today for the individual doubles tournament. They’ll take on Lexi Portz and Jill Kedrowski of St. Cloud Tech at 10:30 a.m.