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Alex snaps five-year drought

Alexandria’s Valentino Grasiuso returns a shot against Brainerd during a match on April 22. Grasiuso got one of the four wins for the Cardinals against Brainerd, earning a victory at fourth singles in a 6-4, 6-4 match. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

A 4-3 victory for the Alexandria tennis team against Brainerd Friday gave the Cardinals its first win against the Warriors in five seasons.

The Cardinals split conference matches over two days as an experienced St. Cloud Tech lineup made the trip to Discovery Middle School on Saturday and picked up a dominant 7-0 win.

Against Brainerd, a balanced lineup helped the Cardinals as they picked up two victories in singles and two in doubles.

Nick Partington and Payton Grandgenett won one of the closest matches of the day at first doubles 7-5, 5-7, 6-3. This back-and-forth match ended being the difference against the Warriors.

“This match could have gone either way and we were fortunate to have Nick and Payton come through when the match was knotted at 3-3,” head coach Dave Ronning said.

In singles, the Cardinals picked up two set wins from Mark Kallevig in the third spot 6-3, 6-1 and Valentino Grasiuso at fourth 6-4, 6-4.

The third doubles team of Jack Schneider and Graham Hegstad also came from behind to pick up a three set victory. They lost set one 3-6 but rebounded to win the next two 6-3, 6-1 for the match.

On Saturday, St. Cloud Tech used an experienced lineup to win every set played against the Cardinals. Although Alexandria was overpowered in the match, Ronning was happy with the effort he saw from the players.

“I was very happy with our guys even in the midst of the loss,” Ronning said. “They never quit and kept fighting to the very end. I would guess that most any one of their players has played more tennis than the combined amount of our entire team.”

Brendan Holm had the most competitive match of the day for Alexandria at second singles as he won five total games in a 6-3, 6-2 loss.

Those two matches gave the Cardinals a 3-7 record in the Central Lakes Conference and an overall mark of 6-10.



SINGLES – No. 1 – DJ Kraemer (B) def. Devin Crowe, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; No. 2 – Tanner Lundberg (B) def. Brendan Holm, 6-2, 6-2; No. 3 – Mark Kallevig (A) def. Patrick Meyer, 6-3, 6-1; No. 4 - Valentino Grasiuso (A) def. Eric Stout, 6-4, 6-4

DOUBLES – No. 1 – Nick Partington/Payton Grandgenett (A) def. Jordan Kleist/Kenta Suzuki, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3; No. 2 – Troy Bialka/Joe Anderholm (B) def. Levi Duwenhoegger/Andrew Storm, 6-1, 2-6, 6-3; No. 3 – Jack Schneider/Graham Hegstad (A) def. Happy Rivard/Cole Ball, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1; EXHIBITION – Travis Goeden/Cole Kalenberg (B) def. Lucas White/Spencer Vogel, 6-3, 6-2


SINGLES – No. 1 – Riley Bates (T) def. Devin Crowe, 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 – Luke Conboy (T) def. Brendan Holm, 6-3, 6-2; No. 3 – Jay Kedrowski (T) def. Mark Kallevig, 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 – Sam Nelson (T) def. Spencer Vogel, 6-0, 6-0

DOUBLES – No. 1 – Riley Peterson/Andy Foley (T) def. Nick Partington/Payton Grandgenett, 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 – Jessie Amdahl/Michael Kline (T) def. Levi Duwenhoegger/Andrew Storm, 6-1, 6-1; No. 3 – Landon Ridpath/Kevin Heller (T) def. Jack Schneider/Graham Hegstad, 6-1, 6-1

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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