Beavers season comes to an end at NSIC Championship
Sunday, April 20, 2008
BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University tennis team finished its season Sunday with a fifth place showing at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championships at the Baseline Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn.

The Beavers gained 28 points in the tournament as five different positions garnered four points a piece with fourth place finishes. Bemidji State also recieved points at every other position with two consolation championships and two seventh place showings.

Winona State University took home its fourth straight NSIC championship as they were able to collect 58 points compared to South West Minnesota State University who came in at 54. Upper Iowa finished a close third with 53 points followed by Minnesota State University Moorhead at 35.

The Beavers came into the day in contention for first place at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. The No. 1 doubles team of Kali Welu (Jr., Pequot Lakes, Minn.) and Sheila Hoberg (So., Bismarck, N.D.) dropped their semi final match to Winona State’s Mary Hesterman and Heather Pierce by the score of, 6-2, 6-2. In the third place matchup the Beavers found themselves matched up againt the Southwest Minnesota State University team of Ananda Ferrari and Ramona Lerch. Welu and Hoberg weren’t able to muster up enough to top Ferrari and Lerch as the Mustangs team went on to a, 6-4, 6-2, victory.

The top seeded No. 3 doubles team of Cheyanne Maki (So., Watford City, N.D.) and Farrah Steinke (Fr., Crosby, Minn.) ran into trouble with Trisha Baldwin and Amy Daniels from Southwest in the semi finals as both sets went 7-6 in favor of Baldwin and Daniels to advance them to the championship match while Maki and Steinke played for third place.

In the third place match Maki and Steinke met up with the Upper Iowa team of Betsy Limberg and Kelsey Montgomery. In their previous match back on April 13 Maki and Steinke prevailed with a 9-7 thriller at the Gillett Recreation and Fitness Center. Unfortunately things did not go the same way as Limberg and Montgomery defeated Maki and Steinke by the score of, 6-1, 6-3.

Ferrari was able to get the best of Welu again as she used a, 6-1, 6-1, win to claim third place at No. 1 singles.

Upper Iowa’s Mallery Cox was able to take care of Steinke in the third place match at No. 3 singles with a, 6-2, 6-3 victory.

Amy Erickson (Jr., Roseau, Minn.) finished her season with a fourth place finish at No. 6 singles as Winona State’s Erika Richae defeated Erickson, 6-4, 6-4, to take the third place match.

The Beavers did not go home empty handied however as after the tournament Welu was announced as the NSIC most valuable player as voted on by the coaches. Welu was awarded for her efforts in helping turn around the Beavers from a 2-13 (1-5; NSIC) 2007 to a 7-14; (3-4; NSIC) in 2008. Welu was also named the NSIC Player of the Week for the week of March 31 through April 6. In that stretch Welu went 6-0 and led Bemidji State to its first two conference wins of the season.

Coach of the Year honors went to Chad Fenwick from Upper Iowa, while Diana Naatz from Southwest Minnesota State received Senior of the Year, and Freshman of the Year was awarded to Winona State’s Heather Pierce.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).