SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- After over a month free from competition, the Bemidji State University tennis team return to action March 22-23, dropping matches to the College of St. Benedict and Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Beavers opened the weekend with a 9-0 loss to St. Ben's. CSB swept the three doubles matched to open the match, with Shaylin Prout (So., Thunder Bay, Ontario) and Mikela Kowatsch (So., Cashmere, Wash.) teaming up to give BSU its best shot at a team point. The duo was edged 8-6 in the No. 1 doubles position, while Caley Westin (Jr., Virginia, Minn.) and Anna Markgraf (Fr., Champlin, Minn.) were defeated at the No. 2 spot (8-2) and Nicci Hedtke (So., Nisswa, Minn.) and Justine Scheller (Fr., Mankato, Minn.) dropped the No. 3 doubles match 8-3.
Trailing 3-0 after doubles play, BSU's struggles to register team points continued in singles play. The Blazers registered six consecutive straight-sets victories to close out the match, 9-0. Prout was again the Beavers' best chance to score, pushing CSB's No. 1 singles player, Daley Rupar, to 6-3 and 7-5 before bowing out.
Augustana made quick work of the Beavers, Sunday. After posting 8-1, 8-2 and 8-1 wins in doubles play to take a 3-0 lead in the match, the Vikings lost only three games in singles play, earning straight-set victories at all six singles positions to complete the victory, 9-0.
The Beavers, now 4-5 overall and 2-4 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play, are back in action Saturday when they host University of Minnesota-Morris and University of Minnesota Crookston. BSU and UMM clash for a nonconference affair at 9 a.m., with a return to NSIC competition versus UMC at 4 p.m. Both matches will take place at BSU's Gillett Recreation/Fitness Center.