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Alexandria boys' tennis: Cards split in triangular opener

Mark Kallevig raced toward the net to return a shot during his first doubles match against Fergus Falls last Thursday. Kallevig is one of two juniors on a young Cardinal team. (Eric Morken, Echo Press)

Like every other team in the area, the Alexandria tennis program has worked tirelessly for a month trying to get their courts ready for action this spring.

Last Thursday, that hard work finally paid off with their ability to host a triangular against Fergus Falls and New London-Spicer. Just getting out there was a victory in and of itself as the Cardinals beat the Wildcats 5-2 to end the day after falling 6-1 to the Otters.

"It was nice to see the team bounce back after the loss to Fergus," head coach Dave Ronning said. "This group of guys can do some nice things if they play with some confidence. We are young, and we will be in a learning mode for most of the season, but they are committed to getting better every day and it should make for a good season."

The Cardinals have just one senior on the roster in Jacob Strand. He teamed up with sophomore Payton Grandgenett to earn a 6-0, 6-1 win at second doubles against New London-Spicer.

Brendan Holm and Mark Kallevig are the two juniors on a young roster. Holm moved to first doubles against the Wildcats and earned a 6-4, 4-6 (10-7) win with sophomore Levi Duwenhoegger. Sophomores Nick Partington and Andrew Storm added a win at the third spot to help the Cardinals sweep the doubles competition.

Freshman Devin Crowe and sophomore Eric Branch got the other two wins in the singles lineup to secure the team win for Alexandria. Crowe needed three sets but got the job done at the third spot, while Branch took care of Eli Nelson with relative ease at fourth singles in a 6-2, 6-0 match.

The Otters showed off a talented singles lineup of their own by winning every match in straight sets. Alexandria's only win against Fergus Falls came at third doubles where Partington and Storm overcome an early loss to win 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

The triangular for Alexandria will hopefully be the start of a flurry of action for the Cardinals as they try to get in as many matches as possible before Section 8AA tournaments start May 20.


Alexandria 5, New London-Spicer 2

SINGLES - No. 1 - Tyler Halvorson (NLS) def. Mathias Burban, 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 - Cody Treptau (NLS) def. Kallevig, 6-2, 7-6(1); No. 3 - Crow (A) def. Nick Freeman, 3-6, 6-4 (10-2); No. 4 - Branch (A) def. Eli Nelson, 6-2, 6-0

DOUBLES - Holm/Duwenhoegger (A) def. Spencer Moller/Austin Laumn, 6-4, 4-6 (10-7); No. 2 - Strand/Grandgenett (A) def. Jon Miller/Ethan Chvala, 6-0, 6-1; No. 3 - Partington/Storm (A) def. Logan Eckhoff/John Jacobson, 6-0, 6-2

Fergus Falls 6, Alexandria 1

SINGLES - No. 1 - David Schneck (FF) def. Brendan Holm, 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 - Jesse Schneeberger (FF) def. Burban, 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 - Jordan Schneeberger (FF) def. Crowe, 6-0, 6-1; No. 4 - Sam Steen (FF) def. Branch, 6-2, 6-2

DOUBLES - No. 1 - Jason Burns/Sam Rausch (FF) def. Duwenhoegger/Kallevig, 6-1, 7-5; No. 2 - John Makelski/Brady Anderson (FF) def. Strand/Grandgenett, 6-2, 7-5; No. 3 - Partington/Storm (A) def. Nathan Kaminskihorak/Connor Hatfield, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3

The flurry of matches continued over the weekend for Alexandria as the Cardinals went on the road and faced three Central Lakes Conference opponents.

Alexandria wrapped up the weekend with a 4-3 win in Willmar on Saturday after dropping a 4-3 match against Sartell and a 7-0 match against conference power St. Cloud Tech on Friday.


The battle of the Cardinals went to Alexandria as they swept the doubles lineup and got a fourth singles win from Eric Branch to secure the win. Branch controlled the match through two sets, winning 6-3, 6-2 over Jarod Swoboda.

"Eric Branch played a very good match where he dictated the points and was solid all the way through," head coach Dave Ronning said. "He will also keep improving as the season goes along."

Ronning is still working to get the right guys into the right spots in the lineup. He switched some things up, including moving Brendan Holm and Mathias Burban into the first doubles spot where they won 6-2, 6-3.

That set the tone as Jacob Strand and Payton Grandgenett followed suit with a 6-2, 6-1 win at second doubles. Nick Partington and Andrew Storm won by that same score to third doubles to complete the doubles sweep.

"All of our doubles teams played solid and never gave Willmar a chance to get on track or find any momentum," Ronning said. "Without much practice time available to us now, we will be making adjustments on the fly, and I am very happy with the way the guys handled these changes and continue to fight hard no matter what the situation."



The Cardinals ran into one of the front runners in the CLC during the nightcap on Friday as St. Cloud Tech ran way with a 7-0 win.

The Tigers won in straight sets in all but one spot. Alexandria's Mark Kallevig forced a third set at second singles but ultimately fell in a 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-4 match.

"We were only able to muster eight games in the singles lineup and nine in the doubles lineup," Ronning said. "The bright spots were the way we fought at most every spot. Our guys never gave up or got discouraged. They were determined to give it their best shot and they did just that. Tech is just that good."



The Cardinals couldn't quite get the decisive fourth win against the Sabres as Sartell finished Alexandria off with a close 7-5, 6-3 win at first doubles.

Kallevig persevered through three sets to win 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-4 at second singles. Branch added a 6-3, 6-2 win at fourth singles, while Strand and Grandgenett added the Cardinals' third win at second doubles in a 6-3, 6-4 match.


Alexandria 4, Willmar 3

SINGLES - No. 1 - Preston Peterson (W) def. Kallevig, 6-4, 6-0; No. 2 - Drew Coreil (W) def. Levi Duwenhoegger, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2; No. 3 - Isaac Jostum (W) def. Devin Crowe, 6-0, 6-4; No. 4 - Branch (A) def. Jarod Swoboda, 6-3, 6-2

DOUBLES - No. 1 - Holm/Burban (A) def. Tote Hovland/Tom Hules-Melchent, 6-2, 6-3; No. 2 - Strand/Grandgenett (A) def. Nick Courtney/Nick Reyier, 6-2, 6-1; No. 3 - Partington/Storm (A) def. Alex Reynolds/Jaden Wright, 6-2, 6-1

St. Cloud Tech 7,

Alexandria 0

SINGLES - No. 1 - Riley Bates (T) def. Holm, 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 - Luke Zweiner (T) def. Kallevig, 6-3, 6-0; No. 3 - Rile Peterson (T) def. Crowe, 6-3, 6-0; No. 4 - Sam Nelson (T) def. Carl Branch, 6-2, 6-0

DOUBLES - No. 1 - Wyatt Pauley/Chris Mavetz (T) def. Duwenhoegger/Strand, 6-0, 6-2; No. 2 - Andy Foley/Brady Roden (T) def. Grandgenett/E. Branch, 6-0, 6-1; No. 3 - Chris Bowe/Luke Conbuy (T) def. Partington/Storm, 6-2, 6-4

Sartell 4, Alexandria 3

SINGLES - No. 1 - Brandon Schachad (S) def. Burban, 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 - Kallevig (A) def. Ben Morire, 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-4; No. 3 - Daniel Muntifering (S) def. Crowe, 6-3, 6-3; No. 4 - E. Branch (A) def. Mark Loscheider, 6-3, 6-2

DOUBLES - No. 1 - Ethan Lorsung/Bradan/Yurceyk (W) def. Holm/Duwenheogger, 7-5, 6-3; No. 2 - Strand/Grandgenett (A) def. Aaron Heinen/Jac Paulendy, 6-3, 6-4; No. 3 - Erik Skoe/Cole Fischer (S) def. Partington/Storm, 6-3, 6-3

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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