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Cards tennis advances to 8AA semis

Nick Partington returns a shot against Brainerd from a match on April 22. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

The Alexandria tennis team advanced to the Section 8AA semifinals on Tuesday in Brainerd by defeating St. Cloud Apollo 7-0 and the Warriors 4-3.

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The second-seeded Cardinals made quick work in its first match of the day against St. Cloud Apollo, sweeping both the singles and the doubles lineups. Brendan Holm did not drop a game in his match, winning 6-0, 6-0 at second singles.

It was a different story against Brainerd as the Cardinals needed multiple tiebreakers to advance in the section tournament. Head coach Dave Ronning has been happy with the way the Cardinals have played over the past few weeks, including the tournament win against Brainerd.

“I am very happy and proud of the guys and what they did up in Brainerd,” Ronning said. “They have been playing some good tennis down the stretch of the season and they went out and did it as a team.”

Victories by Mark Kallevig at third singles and Valentino Grasiuso at fourth singles helped get the Cardinals going versus the Warriors. Kallevig fell behind in the first set 1-5, but he made a comeback to win the set in a tiebreaker. From there he cruised in the second set 6-2 for the win.

Grasiuso needed a second set tiebreaker, but he pulled out a 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory.

At first singles, Levi Duwenhoegger and Nick Partington needed a second set tiebreaker to pick up a 6-2, 7-6 (8) win. Payton Grandgenett and Andrew Storm managed a 6-3, 6-4 victory at second doubles.

Ronning said the Cardinals made it a goal to advance to the section semifinals, something they have not done in a handful of years.

“It has been five seasons since the Cards have played in the section tourney, and they have worked hard to reach this goal,” he said.

The Cardinals will next face top-seeded St. Cloud Tech on Tuesday, May 27 in Sartell.

Alexandria also had two singles and two doubles teams compete in the individual section tournament in Brainerd on Thursday. Devin Crowe and Mark Kallevig will play in singles, while Brendan Holm and Levi Duwenhoegger will compete as one doubles pair and Payton Grandgenett and Nick Partington will play as another.



SINGLES – No. 1 – Devin Crowe (A) def. Jordan McCall, 6-0, 6-2; No. 2 – Brendan Holm (A) def. Garett Lillis, 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 – Mark Kallevig (A) def. Cameron Mackinney, 6-3, 6-2; No. 4 – Valentino Grasiuso (A) def. Tyler Tran, 6-0, 6-1

DOUBLES – No. 1 – Levi Duwenhoegger/Nick Partington (A) def. Logan Battig/James Ano, 6-4, 6-1; No. 2 – Payton Grandgenett/Andrew Storm (A) def. Grady Ewing/Danny Wieber, 6-1, 6-2; No. 3 – Graham Hegstad/Jack Schneider (A) def. Nate Dolven-Kolle/Ben Colgan


SINGLES – No. 1 – DJ Kramer (B) def. Devin Crowe, 6-1, 7-6 (4); No. 2 – Tanner Lundberg (B) def. Brendan Holm, 6-2, 6-2; No. 3 – Mark Kallevig (A) def. Patrick Meyer, 7-6 (2), 6-2; No. 4 – Valentino Grasiuso (A) def. Eric Stout, 6-3, 7-6 (6)

DOUBLES – No. 1 – Levi Duwenhoegger/Nick Partington (A) def. Jordan Kleist/Troy Bialka, 6-2, 7-6 (8); No. 2 – Payton Grandgenett/Andrew Storm (A) def. Joe Anderholm/Cole Ball, 6-3, 6-4; No. 3 – Happy Rivard/Cole Kalenberg (B) def. Graham Hegstad/Jack Schneider, 3-6, 6-3, 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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