Bemidji's doubles team of Hokanson and Holter place third at section meet
ST. CLOUD — Matt Hokanson and Noah Holter captured third place in the Section 8-2A doubles tournament Wednesday at St. Cloud Apollo High School as the Bemidji duo stopped A.J. Flemming and Ben Morine of Sartell 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the battle for third.
Earlier Wednesday Holter and Hokanson fell 6-1, 6-3 to Erik Tugland and Brett Hultgren of Becker in the semifinals.
Tungland and Hultgren finished second as the team lost 6-3, 6-1 to Luke Zweiner and Chris Mavetz of St. Cloud Tech in the championship match.
“Matt and Noah had a nice run at the tournament,” said BHS coach Mark Fodness. “They played well in Wednesday’s first match against Becker but that doubles team is very tough. They don’t hit many spectacular shots but they make very few mistakes and kept the pressure on us for most of the match.
“I thought the way we battled in the second set really helped set the tone for how we played in the third-place match.”
During the team tournament Hokanson, a sophomore, and Holter, a freshman, defeated Flemming and Morine and Fodness knew that it would take another fine effort to duplicate that result.
“The guys were faced with the challenge of beating a tough team twice in a row,” Fodness said. “The Sartell kids are both seniors and both teams had to win for any chance to advance through to True Second.
“We played a solid first set but Sartell played us tough in the second set,” the coach continued.
The third set was all Bemidji, however, as Hokanson and Holter forged a 5-0 lead and eventually posted the 6-2 victory.
“It was great to see Matt and Noah show the mental toughness to close out the third set after the momentum had gone in Sartell’s favor in the second,” Fodness said.
“Of the 15 players in the doubles tournament, 10 were seniors so it’s a really impressive run for two young players who didn’t get to play doubles together during the regular season. I thought they did a fantastic job of meeting the challenge.”
Section 8-2A Tennis
Tungland and Hultgren (Becker) def. Hokanson and Holter (Bemidji) 6-4, 6-1
Zweiner and Mavetz (St. Cloud Tech) def. Flemming and Morine (Sartell) 6-0, 6-4
Zweiner and Mavetz def. Tungland and Hultgren 6-3, 6-1
Hokanson and Holter def. Flemming and Morine 6-3, 4-6,6-2