WINONA, Minn. – Junior captain Laney Rutkowski picked up a win in singles play on her hometown courts, but that was all the team scoring the Bemidji State University tennis team would muster as it fell to Winona State University in Winona, Minn. Sunday, 6-1.
The Beavers dipped to 3-4 on the season, while it marked the fifth consecutive year the Warriors have gotten the best of BSU.
Winona State set the tone early. The Warriors earned a team point in doubles play after sweeping all three doubles matches.
In singles play, BSU stretched WSU to its limits. Sophie Groen battled back from a 6-4 loss in the opening set of her No. 1 singles match to pick up a 6-2 second-set win to force a tie-breaker, but ultimately fell 10-8. Fellow newcomer Claudie Billand followed the same path in the No. 3 singles match. After taking the first set, 6-3, she dropped the second set, 6-2, before falling in the tie-breaker 10-7.
The highlight of the match for BSU was Rutkowski’s victory in the No. 5 singles slot. The Winona, Minn. native posted a straight-sets victory, 6-2, 6-4 to account for BSU’s only singles victory.
Rutkowski moves to 4-2 on the season in singles play to match freshman Shaelyn Johnson for second in the team with four singles victories.
The Beavers now step away from competition for nearly a month. March 27 BSU will return to action with it travels to Duluth, Minn. for a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference matches. The Beavers will battle University of Minnesota Duluth at 1 p.m. March 27 before an 8 a.m. match with St. Cloud State University the next morning (March 28).
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).