GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The Bemidji State University tennis team split a pair of neutral-site Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference matches in Grand Forks, N.D., Feb. 28-29. Following a 6-1 win over Upper Iowa University Friday, the Beavers dropped a 6-1 decision to Winona State University Saturday.
The Beavers move to 7-7 in 2020 and 5-4 in league play.
Saturday, the Beavers opened their match with UIU by sweeping doubles play to grab a 1-0 lead heading into singles action.
In singles play, the Beavers stretched their lead to 2-0 as Mimmack posted a straight-sets win on the No. 3 court (6-0, 6-1). Ariadna Lopez fell in the No. 1 singles match (7-5, 6-1) to allow the Peacocks a team point, but that was all UIU was able to manage and BSU rattled off wins in the remaining singles matches to pick up a 6-1 win. Laney Rutkowski (6-0, 6-0) and Maggie Richardson (6-3, 6-0) recorded straight-sets victories in the No. 5 and No. 6 singles matches, respectively, before Hannah Alme completed the evening by battling back from a 6-4 loss in the first set to claim a 6-4 second-set win and earned the match point in a tie-breaker.
“The team had a very strong performance against Upper Iowa to take the 6-1 win. Hannah Alme came up with a great competitive win at No. 2 singles against a very strong player from UIU," said BSU Head Coach Kyle Fodness. "The whole lineup came out with great energy and aggressive play."
The Beavers remained in Grand Forks, N.D. to face Winona State Saturday.
Bemidji State opened the match with a doubles victory on the No. 1 court. BSU's duo of Lopez and Alme won (6-3) but the Warriors would win the No. 2 and No. 3 matches to earn the doubles point.
Winona State carried solid play into singles. Already winning 1-0, the Warriors claimed victories in the No. 3 (6-2, 6-2) and No. 2 (6-0, 6-4) singles matches, respectively, before Lopez stretched the top singles' match to a tie-breaker before taking defeat (6-1, 5-7 (1-0)). WSU clinched the team victory with a 6-2, 6-3 win over BSU's No. 4 singles player, Hannah Peterson.
Rutkowski stretched her singles record to a team-best 11-3 with a 2-6, 6-3 (1-0) win at No. 5 to garner BSU's only point in the 6-1 loss.
"We didn’t come out with quite the same energy against Winona State," said Fodness. "They are a talented group throughout the lineup. Ari Lopez and Hannah Alme came back from being down 4-1 to win 6-4 at No. 1 doubles, which was a very gritty performance from them. It was fun to see Laney compete until the very end of the team match to get a win. It was another good result for her and represented our goal well to compete as hard as possible through the last point.
"We are looking forward to a short break and then getting back on the courts for Senior Weekend on March 28-29.”
Next, BSU returns to Bemidji, Minn. and the Gillett Wellness Center March 28-29 for a trio of matches to complete the regular-season schedule. The Beavers will host the University of Minnesota Duluth March 28 at 10 a.m. March 29 BSU will face St. Cloud State University in a 1 p.m. match before a non-conference matchup with the University of Wisconsin-Stout at 4:30 p.m.