Alex tennis: Cards start strongAlexandria opened its season with five straight victories.
By: Lori Mork, Alexandria Echo Press
Five matches played, five matches won – definitely a good beginning to the season for the Cardinal girls’ tennis team.
The Redbird girls claimed both of their matches at the Melrose triangular Wednesday, then swept through its three matches during the Alexandria quadrangular Friday.
Alexandria will be at St. Cloud Tech tomorrow, Thursday and will host Brainerd on Saturday.
It was a great way to open the season as the Cardinals took a pair of matches at the Melrose triangular Wednesday, defeating the host Dutchmen 5-2 and the Becker Bulldogs by the same score.
“We’ve opened at Melrose for the past six years or more, and, once again, it was a beautiful day,” said head coach Dave Ronning. “The weather always cooperates on this day, and it makes for a great start to every season.
“The girls came out firing and got wins over both Melrose and Becker by the same score,” he added. “All the wins came from the same spots in both matches as we won at first, second and fourth singles, and second and third doubles.
Rebecca Lukes anchored the singles lineup and put together wins of 6-2 and 7-5 over Michaela Worms of Melrose, and 6-1 and 6-2 wins over Olivia Haltgren of Becker.
At second singles, Ellie Bergstrand defeated Melrose’s Grace Braugh 4-6, 6-3 (10-8) and Rachel Ludkayila of Becker 6-4, 6-0, while Bria Schueler earned fourth singles wins over Kennedy Meyer of Melrose 6-4, 6-2 and Shelby Habert of Becker 6-1, 6-3.
Doubles action saw Jenna Hedstrom and Jessica Larson winning at the second spot 6-2, 6-3 over Melrose duo Ashley Zauzau and Nelly Kennedy and 6-2, 7-5 over Kendra Ruettner and Ellie Tobako of Becker.
Third doubles team Mirada Sater and Kim Wilkins defeated Elisha Engelmeyer and Natie Schultzetenberg of Melrose 6-4, 6-3, then 6-1, 6-2 over Madison Anderson and Stephanie Hotten of Becker.
“The girls had some first match jitters to start with, but most everyone worked through them and played some good tennis on the day,” said Ronning. “Both Melrose and Becker are very good teams with solid lineups and it was really nice to see the girls come out and do what they did for the first matches of the year.
“We will be evaluating after every match to make sure we have the girls in the correct spots so we can put the best possible team on the court every match.”
Alexandria wins three
In a home quadrangular Friday, Alexandria added three more wins to its record, defeating Monticello, Annandale and East Grand Forks.
“The Cardinals defended their home courts with a sweep of the competition that came to town,” said Ronning. “It was the home opener for the girls and we came out swinging.
“It was extremely hot and humid, which made for tough playing conditions on asphalt.
“The girls started the day with an impressive 6-1 win over section foe Monticello,” he added. “We swept the doubles lineup and got wins at first, second and fourth singles.
“We followed that with a 5-2 win over Annandale, a team we have not beaten in three seasons. In this match, we once again swept the doubles lineup and got wins at second and fourth singles.
“The girls finished the day with a 5-2 win over East Grand Forks, with wins coming from second, third and fourth singles and first and third doubles.”
Picking up three wins on the day were Bergstrand at second singles, first doubles players Wheeler and Sjostrand, second doubles and third singles player Jenna Hedstrom and third doubles player Miranda Sater.
“We stuck with the same lineup for the Monticello and Annandale matches, and third played fantastic tennis, with close matches up and down the lineup,” said Ronning. “Every win we got against these two teams was significant, as both teams are solid all the way through.
“As the day went along, we shortened the matches and changed the lineup because of the intense heat, and the girls responded well to the changes.
“We were fortunate to have Kerri Wilkins there to fill in and play a match as Bria Schueler had some struggles with the heat and did not play the last match,” added the coach. “I could not be more proud of the girls and what they have done in such a short period of time. The conditions were brutal out there, but they toughed it out and stayed focused on the task at hand.”
ALEXANDRIA 5, MELROSE 2
No. 1 – Rebecca Lukes (A) def. Michaela Worms 6-2, 7-5, No. 2 – Ellie Bergstrand (A) def. Grace Braug 4-6, 6-3 (10-8), No. 3 – Jailyn Brinkman (M) def. Carly Snell 6-2, 6-2, No. 4 – Bria Schueler (A) def. Kennedy Meyer 6-4, 6-2.
No. 1 – Madison Rauske-Elaine UsaVes (M) def. Marissa Wheeler-Rachel Sjostrand 4-6, 6-4 (10-7), No. 2 – Jenna Hedstrom-Jessica Larson (A) def. Ashle Zauzau-Nelly Kennedy 6-2, 6-3, No. 3 – Miranda Sater_Kim Wilkins (A) def. Elisha Engelmeyer-Natie Schultzetenberg 6-4, 6-3.
EXHIBITION – Hannah Vickstrom-Kerri Wilkins (A) def. Kay Brinkman-Sheila Poepping 8-1.
ALEXANDRIA 5, BECKER 2
No. 1 – Rebecca Lukes (A) def. Olivia Haltgren 6-1, 6-2, No. 2 – Ellie Bergstrand (A) def. Rachel Ludkayila 6-4, 6-0, No. 3 – Katie Sakert (B) def. Carly Snell 4-6, 7-6 (8), (10-4), No. 4 – Bria Schueler (A) def. Shelby Habert 6-1, 6-3.
No. 1 – Lindsey Loretle-Lauren Veldman (B) def. Marissa Wheeler-Rachel Sjostrand 6-4, 6-4, No. 2 – Jenna Hedstrom-Jessica Larson (A) def. Kendra Ruettner-Ellie Tobako 6-2, 7-5, No. 3 – Miranda Sater-Kim Wilkins (A) def. Madison Anderson-Stephanie Hotten 6-1, 6-1.
EXHIBITION – Hannah Vickstrom-Kerri Wilkin (A) def. Becker 6-1.
ALEXANDRIA 6, MONTICELLO 1
No. 1 – Rebecca Lukes (A) def. Alex Revening 6-0, 6-4, No. 2 – Ellie Bergstrand (A) def. Brooke Volpone 6-4, 6-4, No. 3 – Grace Sawatzke (M) def. Carly Snell 6-3, 6-0, No. 4 – Brian Schueler (A) def. Taylor Arthur 6-3, 6-2.
No. 1 – Marissa Wheeler-Rachel Sjostrand (A) def. Anne Dockendorf-Kendria Stoick 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, No. 2 – Jenna Hedstrom-Jessica Larson (A) def. Myranda Anderson-Sid Antony 6-2, 6-2, No. 3 – Kim Wilkins-Miranda Sater (A) def. Christine Lui-Maria Becker 6-2, 6-2.
ALEXANDRIA 5, ANNANDALE 2
No. 1 – Kaytlin Kueffer (AN) def. Rebecca Lukes 6-2, 6-2, No. 2 – Ellie Bergstrand (AL) def. Kelly Mendel 6-1, 6-2, No. 3 – Hanna Lisson (AN) def. Carly Snell 6-3, 7-6 (5), No. 4 – Bria Schueler (AL) def. Sarah Grimm 6-7 (2), 7-5, (9-7).
No. 1 – Rachel Sjostrand-Marissa Wheeler (AL) def. Tasha Laurdenbach-Lexie Arlt 6-1, 4-6, 7-4, No. 2 – Jessica Larson-Jenna Hedstrom (AL) def. Sarah Laudenbach-Anna Zahler 6-2, 6-2, No. 3 – Kim Wilkin-Miranda Sater (AL) def. Emily Combs-Lisa Neumann 6-2, 6-2.
EAST GRAND FORKS 2
No. 1 – Jessamy Jones (EGF) def. Rebecca Lukes 6-2,6 -2, No. 2 – Ellie Bergstrand (A) def. Erika Prichette 6-2, 7-5, No. 3 – Jenna Hedstrom (A) def. Ashley Normandin 6-3, 6-3, No. 4 – Carly Snell (A) def. Cynthia Lovent 6-2, 6-3.
No. 1 – Marissa Wheeler-Rachel Sjostrand (A) def. Chessa Jones-Emma Dietrich 6-2, 6-2, No. 2 – Kelli Radi-Katie Bergren (EGF) def. Jessica Larson-Kim Wilkins 7-5, 7-6 (7), No. 3 – Miranda Sater-Kerri Wilkin (A) def. Emily Stretzishar-Bethany Van Eps 6-3, 6-2.