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GIRLS TENNIS: Jacks split at Pequot Lakes triangular

PEQUOT LAKES -- The Bemidji High School girls tennis team opened the Pequot Lakes triangular with a tight 4-3 loss against the hosting Patriots on Monday, but the Lumberjacks returned to take the split on the day with a 7-0 match sweep over Little Falls.

“All these tough matches are really a great experience for the team, but we need to keep learning from these close losses and do what it takes to turn them in our favor,” BHS head coach Mark Fodness said. “We certainly need some practice time to work on a few things, but we also need to learn how to be mentally tough and cut down on our unforced errors.”

In the day’s opener against Pequot Lakes, the Lumberjacks claimed the top three singles matchups with freshmen Savannah Haugen and Tatum Offerdahl as well as senior Taylor Offerdahl earning victories.

After Patriots junior Maddie Pluimer topped Bemidji’s Paige Headlee 6-1, 6-4 at No. 4 singles, Taylor Offerdahl tied the match at 1-all with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Morgan Mudgett.

Hannah Nelson and Lexi Leitner then came off the No. 1 doubles court with a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Alexa Fyle and Elli Saxerud, but Tatum Offerdahl answered right back with her first varsity win, a 6-4, 6-4 win over Courtney Boller at third singles to make it 2-2.

“Tatum picked up her first varsity win against a really tough player and I thought Tatum hit the ball better than she has so far this season,” Fodness said.

The Pequot Lakes doubles teams refused to lose, however, and their second and third doubles duos beat Bemidji’s Bethany Chatterton-Aftyn Schmidt and Chloe Hasbargen-Paige Anderson pairs to clinch the victory.

“Paige and Chloe were at 7-7 in a third-set tiebreaker before falling 10-7 to a team that has not lost yet this year,” said Fodness. “The girls are doing a lot of good work on the courts and with a little more experience they are really going to be tough.”

Haugen took on fellow freshman Megan Muller at No. 1 singles and took a 6-4, 5-7, (10-4) win, finishing the match at a 4-3 Patriots win.

Against Little Falls, Taylor Offerdahl led things off with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Brianna Marshik at second singles, followed by Nelson and Leitner, who beat Alexa Stoner and Makayla Geise 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 doubles.

Chatterton then took third singles 6-2, 6-1 over Tori Gottwaldt before Anderson and Hasbargen made quick work of Kaitlyn Cox and Ashley Hagen 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.

At third doubles, Eva Laituri and Kylen Fenson beat Julia Vetsch and Madeline Neuring 6-1, 6-2.

“Eva and Kylen saw their first varsity action of the year and they responded well,” Fodness said. “It was Eva's first varsity win and it's nice to see a variety of players gaining experience. Now that we have some practice time approaching it will be interesting to see what changes we might see in the lineup with such a balanced group.”

Haugen and Headlee then wrapped up the Lumberjacks’ sweep with wins at first and fourth singles. Haugen topped Sadie Sue Houdek 6-1, 6-2, while Headlee downed Beth Ahlin in three sets, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-4.

The split brings the Jacks to 2-3 on the season heading into their next match, which comes at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, against Grand Rapids and East Grand Forks in a home triangular at BHS.

Pequot Lakes 4, Bemidji 3

Singles

1-Haugen (BHS) def. Muller (PL) 6-4, 5-7, (10-4)

2-Tay. Offerdahl (BHS) def. Mudgett (PL) 6-1, 6-2

3-Tat. Offerdahl (BHS) def. Boller (PL) 6-4, 6-4

4-Pluimer (PL) def. Headlee (BHS) 6-1, 6-4

Doubles

1-Fyle/Saxerud (PL) def. Nelson/Leitner (BHS) 6-2, 6-1

2-Bengtson/Sherman (PL) def. Chatterton/Schmidt (BHS) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1

3-Lmeck/Crocker (PL) def. Hasbargen/Anderson (BHS) 6-4, 4-6, (10-7)

Bemidji 7, Little Falls 0

Singles

1-Haugen (BHS) def. Houdek (LF) 6-1, 6-2

2-Tay. Offerdahl (BHS) def. Marshik (LF) 6-0, 6-0

3-Chatterton (BHS) def. Gottwaldt (LF) 6-2, 6-1

4-Headlee (BHS) def. Ahlin (LF) 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-4

Doubles

1-Nelson/Leitner (BHS) def. Stoner/Geise (LF) 6-2, 6-3

2-Anderson/Hasbargen (BHS) def. Cox/Hagen (LF) 6-0, 6-1

3-Fenson/Laituri (BHS) def. Vetsch/Nauring (LF) 6-1, 6-2

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