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Big upset for BHS tennis: Jacks topple top-seeded Spuds, advance to 8-2A semifinals

Bemidji’s Matt Hokanson returns the ball Tuesday against Brandon Schuchard of Sartell at the tennis meet in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey | Forum News Service1 / 3
Robert Treuer, playing doubles with Gabe Heifort, returns the ball Tuesday against Erik Skoe and Cole Fischer of Sartell during the Section 8-2A tennis tournament in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey | Forum News Service2 / 3
Bemidji’s Gabe Heifort, playing doubles with Robert Treuer, returns the ball Tuesday against Erik Skoe and Cole Fischer of Sartell during the Section 8-2A meet in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey | Forum News Service3 / 3

BRAINERD — The Bemidji tennis team scored an upset victory over No. 1-seeded Moorhead to advance to the semifinals of the Section 8AA team tennis tournament next Tuesday.

The Lumberjacks, the No. 4 seed in the north bracket, defeated No. 5 Sartell 5-2 then knocked off the Spuds, the North’s top team, 4-3.

“We beat them during the regular season last year but they knocked us out of the section tournament,” BHS head coach Mark Fodness said. “We were able to reverse that situation this year.”

The Lumberjacks used a doubles-team sweep and a win by Evan White at No. 4 singles to secure the victory.

“We knew that we had to sweep them in doubles and then one of our four singles players had to pull off a pretty big upset,” Fodness said.

White came through for the Lumberjacks big time. After losing the first set 2-6, he won the second set in a tiebreaker 7-6 after being down 5-2 early in the match against Ethan Glidden.

“Then it came down to his third set and he came through under a lot of pressure to pull of a big upset and give us the victory,” Fodness said.

White took the third set 6-3.

In doubles action, Gabe Heifort and Robert Truer also needed a dramatic three sets to defeat their competition at No. 1 doubles, Joe Cullen and Sam Schroeder.

“They battled back to go up 4-3 in the third set but Moorhead took the next two games,” Fodness said. “Robert had struggled with his serve for most of the day and we had to have him step up. We won every point of his game, and he hit three overpowering first serves that game us all the momentum we needed to finish things off.”

Kole Pankow and Garret Atteberry beat Eyan Anderson and Issac Dang 6-1, 6-1, at No. 2 singles, while Rocky Copiskey and Spencer Konecne also had relatively easy times at No. 3 singles, winning 6-4, 6-3.

“Kole and Garret won our first point and never really left any doubt as to the outcome,” Fodness said. “Rocky and Spencer struggled a bit early on but then took control and we had our second point. “

The Nos. 1-3 players — Matt Hokanson, Noah Holter and Sam Howard — all lost.

In the early match against Sartell, Hoaknson and Holter won at No. 1 and 2 singles and the doubles teams also swept to give Bemidji its 5-2 win.

Bemidji will take on Becker, the No. 2 team from the South bracket, next Tuesday at St. Cloud Apollo.

The Section 8AA North individual tournament is set for this Thursday, again at Brainerd.

Section 8AA Tennis Team Tournament North Bracket at Brainerd Bemidji 5, Sartell 2 Singles Hokanson (B) def. Schuchard 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

Holter (B) def. Muntifering 6-2, 6-1

Forberg (S) def. Howard 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

Sura (S) def. White 6-4, 2-6 (10-5)

Doubles Heifort/Truer (B) def. Skoe/Fischer 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

Pankow/Atteberry (B) def. Jemming/Erickson 6-0, 7-6 (7-2)

Copiskey/Konecne (B) def. Minnerath/Sinn 6-3, 6-3

Bemidji 4, Moorhead 3 Singles Steinwand (M) def. Hokanson 6-2, 6-0

K.Meyer (M) def. Holter 6-0, 6-2

W.Meyer (M) def. Howard 6-1, 7-6 (5-6)

White (B) def. Glidden 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3)

Doubles Heifort/Truer (B) def. Cullen/Schroeder 2-6, 6-3, 7-5

Pankow/Atteberry (B) def. Anderson/Dang 6-1, 6-1

Copiskey/Konecne (B) def. O’Meara/Laidlaw 6-4, 6-3

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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