Alex boys' tennis: Cards start season strongAlexandria secures four straight-set victories to pick up a win over Monticello on Tuesday.
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
The Alexandria boys’ tennis team got off to a fast start behind the strength of its singles lineup in a 5-2 win over Monticello to open the season.
The Cardinals had as good of conditions as one can ask for in the opener. Sun and 60 degrees greeted the players with a bit of a breeze the only thing to overcome.
Alexandria had no problems doing that on its way to recording a clean sweep in the singles lineup. Austin Storm stepped into the No. 1 singles spot and persevered for a win in three sets. The senior attacked the net early and often on his way to a 6-3 first set win. Cody Black battled back to push the match to a third set by winning the second 6-2, but Storm answered with a 6-2 win himself in the third.
“Austin anchored the singles lineup and got a hard-fought three-set victory over a pesky opponent who made Austin earn everything he got,” head coach Dave Ronning said.
That was the final match still on the court in the singles lineup after the rest of the Cardinals’ lineup made easy work of their opponents. Trevor Grandgenett showed off a hard serve and controlled things from start to finish in a 6-0, 6-1 win against Erik Hammill at second singles.
Brock Wood and Mark Kallevig did the same. Wood was playing in his first varsity tennis match and looked at ease in a 6-1, 6-1 win over Brian Peterson at the third spot. Kallevig had no problems with Michael McConnon at fourth singles, winning 6-0, 6-0.
“I’m happy with the way we handled the first-match jitters,” Ronning said. “The competition is only going to get tougher so getting that first win under our belts is very important.”
The duo of Ben VonBargen and Will Harding got the lone win for Alexandria in the doubles lineup. Harding and VonBargen took care of things in straight sets, winning 6-4, 6-2.
Brendan Holm and Mack Wadi started strong before Monticello’s Jack Fair and Ethan Pauly battled back for a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win. Holm and Wadi lost 10 of 11 games during a stretch that proved to be too much to overcome as their comeback attempt fell short. The third doubles team of Levi Duwenhoegger and Jake Strand also came up short, losing 6-4, 6-2 to Ryan Nitz and Gabe Gulmorth.
“We definitely struggled at spots and showed that we are rusty,” Ronning said. “But that is to be expected, and we will go back to practice and work out the kinks. We will be working on our lineup for a while as we find out where people will fit best.”
Alexandria will have off until next Tuesday when the Cardinals travel to Willmar for their first Central Lakes Conference match of the season.
Alexandria 5, Monticello 2
SINGLES – No. 1 – Austin Storm (A) def. Cody Black, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2; No. 2 – Trevor Grandgenett (A) def. Erik Hammill, 6-0, 6-1; No. 3 – Brock Wood (A) def. Brian Peterson, 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 – Mark Kallevig (A) def. Michael McConnon, 6-0, 6-0
DOUBLES – No. 1 – Jack Fair/Ethan Pauly (M) def. Mack Wadi/Brendan Holm, 6-4, 7-6 (5); No. 2 – Ben VonBargen/Will Harding (A) def. Jordan Karjala/Aaron Stone, 6-4, 6-2; No. 3 – Ryan Nitz/Gabe Gulmorth (M) def. Levi Duwenhoegger/Jake Strand, 6-4, 6-