SARTELL -- In the Section 8AA girls tennis tournament on Saturday at Sta Fit in Sartell, the three Bemidji High School athletes fell short of advancing out of the first round, ending the team’s season.
As the North’s No. 2 seed, freshman singles player Savannah Haugen fell to South No. 3 Kate Inderieden, a junior from St. Cloud Tech, while the doubles pairing of North No. 2 Taylor Offerdahl and Lexi Leitner fell to South No. 3 Maggie Kipka and Kate Corrigan, of Foley.
Haugen improved on a 6-2 loss in the first set of her match to take four games in set two, but ultimately couldn’t do enough to force a third set, falling 6-2, 6-4.
“Savannah had a tough match in the first round today,” BHS head coach Mark Fodness said. “I thought she played better as the match went on and the second set was a draw until the very end. These matches against higher level opponents help expose areas that need work, but in the big picture Savannah had a tremendous season and she has a lot of great tennis ahead of her.”
In doubles, Offerdahl and Leitner forced each of the first two sets into 6-6 ties, but the Foley pair took both tiebreakers to win 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3).
Fodness said Bemidji’s best chance to take control of the first set came with a 2-1 lead, but the Jacks couldn’t quite take the two-game lead and ended up losing the first tiebreaker.
In set two, Offerdahl and Leitner cruised to a 5-2 lead but couldn’t close out the set and Foley battled back into contention.
“Foley had all the momentum and we just couldn't flip things back in our favor,” Fodness said. “It was still a nice performance for two players who didn't have the chance to play doubles together until sub-sections, and it doesn't take away from a tremendous career by Taylor.”