BEMIDJI -- Six is the number of dual matches the Bemidji High Schools girls tennis team has won to start its 2019 campaign. The Lumberjacks continued their season-opening tear by claiming duplicate 5-2 victories over East Grand Forks and Grand Rapids in a home triangular Wednesday at the high school.
Ever since a second-place finish in a Pine City tournament to start the season last week, the Lumberjacks have gotten the best of their opponents and now own a 6-0 record in head-to-head dual matches.
“They lived up to every expectation,” BHS head coach Kyle Fodness said. “And I had some pretty high ones…. They’ve really put in a lot of hard work and they’ve been doing a very, very good job. It’s nice when you can have high expectations and then they are right at them and surpass them pretty much everyday.”
The Lumberjacks swept through all four singles contests against the Green Wave, with Savannah Haugen and Bethany Chatterton winning in perfect 6-0, 6-0 fashion. Aftyn Schmidt’s win in No. 3 singles clinched the match for BHS.
Hannah Nelson and Kylen Fenson picked up the only doubles win for Bemidji in the No. 3 match, though East Grand Forks required tiebreak wins in the other two matches.
The Jacks’ final match of the triangular against Grand Rapids was knotted at 2-2 through the first four matches. BHS triumphed in the final three matches with Emily Dondelinger securing the win with her 6-4, 6-1 victory in No. 4 singles.
Two of Bemidji’s three doubles pairings were victorious as Nelson and Chatterton claimed a flawless 6-0, 6-0 win in the No. 3 match, and Chloe Hasbargen Paige Anderson won the No. 2 contest 6-3, 6-3.
Haugen dropped only one game in a 6-0, 6-1 win in No. 1 singles as the sophomore ended the day 24-1 across a smooth four sets.
“We talked about everybody winning their close matches,” Fodness said, “and at the end, I kind of talked to Savannah and said, ‘Hey, by the way: good job to you, too. Sometimes we just take for granted -- not that we say we expect you to win -- but we take for granted that you’ve got it.’”
Tatum Offerdahl capped the afternoon with arguably the most entertaining match of the day, storming back from a 6-1 first-set loss to win set two 6-4 and the match 11-9 in a third-set tiebreak.
“(Tatum) had a great comeback and has really worked hard, and is a great multi-sport athlete,” Fodness said. “She had a very big win today…. If you had a match of the day, that was the one that was really fun to watch. Just her comeback, changing a gameplan. It’s one thing to hit better. It’s another thing to change your game plan and stick to it.”
Having played a busy schedule of six matches in the season’s first nine days, the Lumberjack varsity will receive some much-needed rest. Bemidji is next set to return to the courts against Brainerd in a home match at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5.
Bemidji 5, East Grand Forks 2
No. 1: Haugen (BHS) def. Haaven-Farstad 6-0, 6-0
No. 2: Offerdahl (BHS) def. Burris 6-1, 6-1
No. 3: Schmidt (BHS) def. Jensen-Selnes 6-4, 6-1
No. 4: Chatterton (BHS) def. Vatnsdal 6-0, 6-0
No. 1: Dietrich/Havis (EGF) def. Leitner/Kimble 2-6, 6-4, (10-4)
No. 2: Aaker/Rand (EGF) def. Anderson/Hasbargen 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
No. 3: Nelson/Fenson (BHS) def. Oshie/Rothenberger 6-3, 6-2
Bemidji 5, Grand Rapids 2
No. 1: Haugen (BHS) def. Troumbly 6-0, 6-1
No. 2: Offerdahl (BHS) def. Kangas 1-6, 6-4, (11-9)
No. 3: Hine (GR) def. Schmidt 6-0, 6-0
No. 4: Dondelinger (BHS) def. Hamling 6-4, 6-1
No. 1: Brandt/Dowell (GR) def. Leitner/Kimble 6-4, 6-1
No. 2: Hasbargen/Anderson (BHS) def. Ramirez/Ahcan 6-3, 6-3
No. 3: Nelson/Chatterton (BHS) def. Han. Lafrenier/Hai. Lafrenier 6-0, 6-0