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TENNIS: Singles sweep lifts Jacks over Thunderhawks

GRAND RAPIDS -- The Bemidji High School girls tennis team extended its win streak to eight matches Wednesday afternoon, defeating Greenway/Grand Rapids 5-2 at Grand Rapids High School.

“This is always a good match for us this time of year because Grand Rapids is a tough opponent and they always compete,” BHS head coach Mark Fodness said.

Seniors Abbie Kelm (6-0, 6-0), Laura Palmer (6-2, 6-0) and Denee Barrett (6-1, 6-3) each beat their opponents at first, second and fourth singles, respectively, to grab the first three points of the match, and sophomore Savannah Haugen completed the singles sweep with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 win at the No. 3 spot.

“All our of singles players came up with strong efforts today,” Fodness said. “Savannah had one set that got away from her but she really focused on keeping the ball in play and working to earn unforced errors from her opponent and she rebounded really nicely in the third set.”

In the matchup between the two teams on Aug. 30, G/GR swept the doubles and the Jacks won 4-3. This time around Bemidji (15-2) was able to pick up another win, as sophomores Bethany Chatterton and Aftyn Schmidt won their third doubles matchup.

“Bethany and Aftyn were behind in the first set but started to hit better from the baseline and play more aggressively at the net and it paid off,” Fodness said. “In the second set, we jumped out to a big lead and then got a little conservative. Just when it looked like they might let Grand Rapids back in the set, we relaxed and became more aggressive and finished off the match.”

Senior Sam Edlund and junior Taylor Offerdahl suffered a rare loss at the top doubles position (6-1, 7-6 (7-5)), while senior Caitlin McCollum and freshman Lexi Leitner paired up at second doubles and were edged by their G/GR counterparts by a 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 10-3 score.

“It was really fun to see second doubles in such a battle,” said Fodness. “The first two sets were decided by tiebreakers and we played a 10-point tiebreaker for the third set because the match was decided at that point. Even though we lost, I thought Caitlin and Lexi played some of their best tennis since they've teamed up. If they can just be more consistent, they'll be really hard to beat.”

The Lumberjacks host Fergus Falls and Moorhead at noon today for a home triangular at Bemidji High School.

Bemidji 5, Grand Rapids 2

Singles

1-Kelm (BHS) def. Ja. Troumbly (GR) 6-0, 6-0

2-Palmer (BHS) def. Bocnuk (GR) 6-3, 6-0

3-Haugen (BHS) def. Hill (GR) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2

4-Barrett (BHS) def. Witherill (GR) 6-1, 6-3

Doubles

1-Hamling, Wagner (GR) def. Edlund, Offerdahl (BHS) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)

2-Jo. Troumbly, Scherping (GR) def. McCollum, Leitner (BHS) 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 10-3

3-Chatterton, Schmidt (BHS) def. Dower, Ramirez (GR) 7-4, 6-1