Tennis team takes down defending CLC championsThe Cardinals battled through tiebreakers and comebacks to edge Brainerd 4-3
Reggie Ronning and Luke Eberly put together a pair of hard-fought matches to give Alexandria a close 4-3 win over defending Central Lakes Conference champion Brainerd Thursday.
“The Cards won the first set at three of the seven positions, and were close in three of the four others,” said Alexandria head coach Dave Ronning. “We knew that if we played smart, we could come back.
“Connor Illies was the first one done as he cruised to a win 6-0, 6-3.
“Our third doubles team of Joey [Goeden] and Brett [Stueve] were the first to fall in defeat and Ben [LeVahn] lost in a close match to give the Warriors the early 2-1 lead.
“Kevin [Desautels] and Matt [Peterson] at second doubles were the ones to tie the score at 2-2 as Marvin [Wensman] and Cody [Nelson] lost in a very close match that saw our guys fighting back time after time,” said the coach.
The score was 3-2 in favor over the Warriors with Luke Eberly still playing at third singles and Ronning at first singles.
“Luke had dropped the first set, but had won the second and was in the third set,” said coach Ronning. “Reggie had won the first set 7-5 after being down 3-5, and was again behind in the second set 3-5.
“Luke caught fire and played possibly his best tennis in years and won the deciding set 6-2 to knot the score at 3-3.”
It was then that Ronning fought his way back to bring the second set to a tiebreaker, then surged ahead for an early 5-0 lead.
“It was too much for his opponent to come back from as Reggie ended it at 7-4 to give the Cardinals the deciding point and the upset,” the Alexandria coach said. “There was a celebration out on the courts as the team went out to meet Reggie.
“To go in to their place and do what these guys did, and without the services of Jeremy Rapp (illness) at third doubles was amazing.
“To have such high quality tennis so early in the season at so many positions is a credit to how hard these guys have worked in the off season and preseason.”
The Cardinals improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in conference action.
ALEXANDRIA 4, BRAINERD 3
No. 1 – Reggie Ronning, Alex, def. Devin Larson 7-5, 7-6 (4), No. 2 – Connor Illies, Alex, def. Morgan Sala 6-0, 6-3, No. 3 – Luke Eberly, Alex, def. Cory Kuglin 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, No. 4 – Jordan Schiltz, Brd, def. Ben LeVahn 6-3, 6-4.
No. 1 – Nate Henningson-Christ Rud, Brd, def. Marvin Wensman-Cody Nelson 6-4, 6-4, No. 2 – Kevin Desautels-Matt Peterson, Alex, def. Michael Ruen-Barth Ashegaard 6-2, 7-5, No. 3 – Jared Anderson-Jordan Goos, Brd, def. Joey Goeden-Brett Stueve 6-1, 6-0.