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TENNIS: Bemidji wins triangular at Pine City in season opener

PINE CITY — A year ago the Bemidji High School girls tennis team captured the championship of the Pine City Invitational. The Lumberjacks were hoping to repeat that success Monday but rain forced tournament officials to postpone the event until Tuesday.

Because of the delay, half of the field could not make it to Pine City so the format had to be changed from individual matches to a series of dual meets.

And the Lumberjacks didn’t miss a beat as they blanked South St. Paul 7-0 and posted 6-1 victories over Pine City and Mounds Park Academy. A fourth doubles exhibition match was played in each dual and BHS won all three.

In order to speed the play and assure that all the duals could be completed, each set began with a 2-2 score so Bemidji’s dominance was even more impressive.

In its opener Bemidji claimed all eight matches in straight sets. Finja Mahl, an exchange student from Germany, made her Lumberjacks debut at first singles and coasted to a 6-3, 6-2 triumph. Also winning in singles were Abbie Kelm, Alexis Konecne and Taylor Offerdahl.

Erin Edlund and Mattie Osborn set the tone in the doubles action as they collected a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 triumph at first doubles.

Also teaming for doubles wins were Sarah McNallan and Sam Edlund, Shelby Eichstadt and Olivia Jones plus Hope Puro and Sara Bofferding.

The Jacks swept the singles matches against Pine City as Mahl, Kelm and Konecne each won 6-2, 6-3 and Offerdahl posted a 7-6, 6-4 triumph.

Claiming doubles wins were McNallan and Sam Edlund, Sydney Ewert and Nikki Anderson-Weir plus Adrian Rickert and Valerie Davis.

The lone setback came at first doubles where Erin Edlund and Osborn fell 6-4, 7-5.

Mounds Park Academy also was dispatched with relative ease. Mahl, Kelm and Konecne won in singles and Bemidji swept the doubles matches. Teaming for the victories were Erin Edlund and Osborn, McNallan and Sam Edlund, Rickert and Davis and Anderson-Weir and Ewart.

“I think the teams in Pine City were a little surprised by how strong we were,” Bemidji coach Mark Fodness said. “We graduated eight of our 10 girls from last year and Tuesday’s results are a credit to the girls and to the work they put in during the offseason.

“Winning the first three matches of the year is, obviously, a good way to get things started but equally important was the opportunity to see the girls play in match-play situations.”

Fodness wasn’t surprised by Tuesday’s results because he knew the Jacks would be strong in singles and balanced in doubles.

“In singles, everyone came through with a solid performance. Our doubles teams played well overall but there’s definitely room for improvement,” the coach said. “And the girls are anxious to go to work.

“The early-season matches really help us pinpoint the things we need to work on if we’re going to keep improving.”

Included in Tuesday’s results were the initial varsity wins for Mahl, Offerdahl and Davis.

Bemidji will try to continue its early-season success at 10 a.m. today when it entertains Alexandria. On Friday the Jacks will host Hibbing at noon.

Bemidji 7, South St. Paul 0


Mahl (B) def. Tappe 6-3, 6-2

Kelm (B) def. Cannihan 6-2, 6-2

Konecne (B) def. Ness 6-2, 6-2

Offerdahl (B) def. Lenarz 6-4, 6-3


E.Edlund and Osborn (B) def. Simon and Herbert 7-6 (7-2), 6-4

McNallan and S.Edlund (B) def. Barnes and Hilinovich 6-4, 6-2

Eichstadt and Jones (B) def. Goers and Dossen 6-3, 6-3

Puro and Bofferding (B) def. Jenkins and Dust 6-3, 6-4

Bemidji 6, Pine City 1


Mahl (B)def. Cahill 6-2, 6-3

Kelm (B) def. Rike 6-2, 6-3

Konecne (B) def. Kloehl 6-2, 6-3

Offerdahl (B) def. Miller 7-6, 6-4


Buresot and Darick (PC) def. E.Edlund and Osborn, 6-4, 7-5

McNallan and S.Edlund (B) def. Furber and Cebren 6-2, 6-3

Ewert and Anderson-Weir (B) def. Jorsch and Miller 5-7, 7-5, (10-6)

Rickert and Davis (B) def. Babolla and Freeman 6-3, 6-2

Bemidji 6, Mounds Park 1


Mahl (B) def. Mudge 6-3, 6-4

Kelm (B) def. Lindnel 6-3, 6-2

Konecne (B) def. Bailey 6-2, 6-2

Law (MP) def. Offerdahl 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)


E.Edlund and Osborn (B) def. Portis and Lyons 6-2, 6-3

McNallan and S.Edlund (B) def. Walker and Thrane 6-2, 6-4

Rickert and Davis (B) def. Syal and Pottis 7-5, 7-5

Anderson-Weir and Ewart (B) def. James and Garg 6-2, 6-3

Notes: All fourth doubles matches were exhibition ... Each set started with a 2-2 score to save time

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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