Beavers drop two in final road trip of 2021 regular season

Beavers drop two in final road trip of 2021 regular season
Friday, April 9, 2021
Beavers drop two in final road trip of 2021 regular season

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Bemidji State University tennis team completed its 2021 regular-season schedule Friday dropping a pair of neutral-site Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference matches. The Beavers were swept by 10-time defending conference champion Augustana University, 7-0, to open the day of competition and were narrowly edged, 4-3, by University of Sioux Falls in the NSIC finale. Both matches were played at Choice Health and Fitness in Grand Forks, N.D.

The Beavers finish the 2021 season 4-7 overall with all 11 matches in NSIC play.

Bemidji State opened its 8 a.m. match versus perennial national powerhouse Augustana with doubles play. The Vikings picked up the doubles point earning a 6-4 victory over BSU’s top pair of Sophie Groen and Shaelyn Johnson and 6-2 over Claudie Billand and Isabela Nelson in the No. 2 doubles match. The highlight of the match for BSU came on the No. 3 doubles court where the team of Hannah Peterson and Laney Rutkowski posted a 6-4 victory. It wasn’t enough for the Beavers to avoid the sweep, but it stood as the first time BSU has earned a singles or doubles win versus AU since it won two singles matches over the Vikings March 7, 2009.

At 12-2 this season, the Vikings have won 129 consecutive regular-season NSIC matches and continued their dominance in singles play to complete the 7-0 victory.

Auggie took all six singles contests in straight sets. Groen, a BSU freshman from Uigeest, Netherlands, stood out in singles. She picked up three games in a 6-3 loss in the first set before a 6-1 loss in the second against the Vikings’ top singles player, Valeriya Monko.

In the second match of the day, the Beavers again found themselves in a 1-0 hole after dropping the doubles point.

Groen and Johnson took the No. 1 pairs match, 6-2, but the Beavers were unable to take either of the other doubles matches. Billand and Nelson were defeated 7-6 in the No. 2 match, while Peterson and Rutkowski failed to replicate their morning win versus USF. BSU dropped the No. 3 doubles match by a 7-6 score.

As the teams turned their attention to singles play, the Beavers prevailed on the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 courts, including a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win in a tiebreaker by Billand in the third singles match. USF came battling back earning wins in the No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 singles contests and grabbed the team win by the narrowest of margins, 4-3.

BSU, currently in seventh place in the NSIC standings at 4-7 will wait to see its postseason fate. With Just over a week left in the conference schedule, the Bevers need to cling to one of the top eight positions. If they do, they will advance to the single-elimination NSIC Tournament April 24-25 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The 2021 championship field will be announced April 19.

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).