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Alexandria tennis: Cardinal girls celebrate successes

The Alexandria girls' tennis team just wrapped up one of its best seasons in school history, which meant the Cardinals had a lot to recognize at their awards banquet on November 8.

Alexandria set a school record with 21 wins this year on its way to a 21-3 overall record. The 9-2 mark in the Central Lakes Conference was good for second place in the league.

"From day one back in August, the girls worked hard and were determined to compete for a conference title and a trip to the state tournament," head coach Dave Ronning said. "Although we came up just short on both, we still accomplished some amazing things, and in the end, they could all hold their heads high."

Five seniors, Rebecca Lukes, Jessica Larson, Jenna Hedstrom, Miranda Sater and Madison Groettum, had a lot to do with Alexandria's success and many of them were recognized with team awards. Lukes was the catalyst of that as she earned the team's Most Valuable Player Award.

Lukes led the team with 24 wins, while dropping just six matches this season. Those 24 wins are a new Alexandria record at first singles. She went 10-1 in CLC play and finished third in the individual section tournament.

"Rebecca was named our most valuable player not only for what she accomplished on the courts," Ronning said, "but for her leadership, commitment, sportsmanship, dedication, hard work and coachability."

Hedstrom was named the hardest worker after finishing the season 19-7. She went 8-3 in CLC play and was part of the depth that made this Cardinals' team so tough.

"She not only worked hard during the season," Ronning said. "But she worked nonstop through the entire off-season and on weekends. She is very deserving of this award."

Sater took home the award for the most 6-0 wins on the team. She had 13 of those as she finished 21-3 overall and 10-1 in the conference.

The final team awards went to Groettum with the Most Team Spirit Award and Bria Schueler with the Most Improved Award. Schueler started her season 13-0 and ended with an overall record of 19-4. She was one of 10 girls who finished with at least 15 wins on the year.

Ellie Bergstrand was second on the team in wins with a 23-4 record. She joined Lukes on the all-conference team, while the doubles teams of Jessica Larson and Hedstrom and Sater and Kim Wilkins were honorable-mention selections.

The strong season by the Cardinals also earned their coaches some recognition for their role in leading the way. Ronning and assistant coach John Schmidt were both named Section 8AA head and assistant coach of the year. Schmidt went on to be named the Minnesota Assistant Coach of the year as well.

"These honors are a tribute to our entire program," Ronning said. "Thanks need to go out to everyone involved."


TEAM AWARDS - Most Team Spirit - Madison Groettum; Most 6-0 Wins - Miranda Sater - 13; Most Improved Player - Bria Schueler; Hardest Worker - Jenna Hedstrom; MVP - Rebecca Lukes

ALL CENTRAL LAKES CONFERENCE - Lukes, Ellie Bergstrand; Honorable mention doubles - Jessica Larson/Hedstrom; Sater/Kim Wilkins

Individual Records

Lukes - 24-6, 10-1 CLC

Bergstrand - 23-4, 10-1 CLC

Carly Snell - 15-9, 8-3 CLC

Schueler - 19-4, 9-2 CLC

Larson - 18-8, 8-3 CLC

Hedstrom - 19-7, 8-3

Marissa Wheeler - 17-8, 8-3 CLC

Rachel Sjostrand - 17-8, 8-3

Kim Wilkins - 20-4, 10-1 CLC

Sater - 21-3, 10-1 CLC

Kerri Wilkins - 1-0