Roggenbuck finds a quick fit at second singles for Alexandria as a foreign-exchange student from Germany

Tabea Roggenbuck takes a break between games as she talks with Cardinals' head coach Dave Ronning during her three-set match against Rocori's Adeline Loesch on Tuesday night. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

Another win for the Alexandria girls tennis team had already been decided on Tuesday night with one final marathon match still going.

Teammates from both Alexandria and Rocori sat along the sideline to watch the completion of the second singles match. For the Cardinals, it was a chance for their athletes to see how their new teammate would handle a bit of a pressure situation.

“It’s a good feeling,” Tabea Roggenbuck said. “You saw it. We all support each other, and I think that’s really nice. It felt really good to have the support.”

Roggenbuck is a foreign-exchange student from Hanover, Germany who has slid right into the top of the lineup for the Cardinals. She expressed a desire to play doubles to head coach Dave Ronning when she arrived just over a week ago, but the Cardinals needed a singles player.

“She’s our second best singles player, so that just makes three and four strong for us,” Ronning said. “She’s all for playing the spot, which I was really happy to hear. I’m glad she’s stepping in and taking that big role. One and two are big spots in singles and doubles.”


Roggenbuck won her first match last week in straight sets before running into a tough opponent in Adeline Loesch of Rocori on Tuesday. Loesch had a little bit more in a back-and-forth three-setter as she won 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The Cardinals still improved to 3-0 on the season with a 5-2 win over the Spartans.

Tabea Roggenbuck charges the net to make a return in her match against Adeline Loesch from Rocori on Tuesday. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

“Put yourself in her shoes,” Ronning said of Roggenbuck’s addition to this team. “You come from another country. You’re 16-years old. Everything is different and you’re learning new things. Just coming over here alone would be scary, and then you are meeting people and have to compete. That’s a lot on her plate. I don’t know how I would handle that.”

Brianna Holm, whose family is hosting Roggenbuck, helped her new teammate get assimilated upon her arrival in Alexandria. Holm is the Cardinals’ top singles player, which provided Roggenbuck some comfort as she jumped into the lineup.

Alexandria's Brianna Holm returns a shot in her straight-set win against Kathryn Headlee on Tuesday night at first singles. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

There was a lot of uncertainty of whether or not Roggenbuck would even be able to make it to Alexandria this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“I was pretty scared I couldn’t come,” she said. “It was quite scary, but now I’m here and I’m quite happy about it.”

Roggenbuck said her hopes for this season are to bring the team forward, try to win as much as she can and just have fun being a part of this team.

Ronning said Roggenbuck is fitting right in and is great about hitting with a bunch of different teammates during practice. She has played club tennis in Germany since she was 5-years-old, and her experience shows on the court.

Roggenbuck kept a lot of balls in play against a fast and athletic player in Loesch. There was a stretch during Roggenbuck’s second-set win where she attacked the net on a regular basis to put shots away. Ronning would like to see more of that as the season goes on.

“In practice, she goes for a lot,” Ronning said. “We’re all that way. We practice really well and then in a match, we tense up and get the nerves. (Monday), that’s what I focused on in practice. Just go out and relax and play like you practice.”

Ronning can see Roggenbuck is still battling some of those early nerves in a new situation. She would beat herself up a bit after a missed shot against Loesch. Ronning knows she cares about what goes on on the court, but he also wants her to be able to move on quickly within a match.

“I like working with people like that,” Ronning said. “It’s fun seeing them have success and get better at those types of things. I think she’s going to be OK and just get better and better as the season goes on. I’ve been telling her to just continue to learn. Accept the experience and give it your best. If you don’t win, you don’t win. That’s the way it goes.”

A big win for the Cardinals


Alexandria's Jaya Hatlestad goes all out to get to a ball at the net in her fourth singles match on Tuesday. Hatlestad won her match in three sets to help the Cardinals improve to 3-0 with the 5-2 win. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Alexandria tennis team has a goal of competing for a Central Lakes Conference championship this year, and Tuesday’s win was a step in the right direction.

Ronning said Rocori is definitely the best team the Cardinals have seen so far in the early season. Alexandria won the first four matches that got done on Tuesday to secure the win.

“We didn’t start well at second and third doubles,” Ronning said. “They battled. You can’t have your best stuff every day. I told several players that while they were in the middle of their match. ‘Don’t expect your best stuff every day, but you got to work with what is working today.’ I’m happy with the way they kept fighting.”

The top doubles team of Kaylee Svee and Whitly Netland won 6-3, 6-2, while Anna Doherty and Mackenna Aure won 2-6, 6-3, 6-1. Holm, Sarah Jiang and Jaya Hatlestad all won in singles to help their team stay perfect through three matches.

“(Rocori) upset Moorhead,” Ronning said. “In Moorhead’s eyes it’s an upset. Maybe in Rocori’s eyes it’s not, so they’re coming in here with a lot of confidence. For us to do that to a team that’s going to be in the middle-to-upper portion of the conference, it’s a good win.”

Alexandria's Sarah Jiang won in straight sets at No. 3 singles on Tuesday to help the Cardinals to a 5-2 win over Rocori. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)



SINGLES - No. 1 - Brianna Holm (A) def. Kathryn Headlee, 6-4, 6-0; No. 2 - Adeline Loesch (R) def. Tabea Roggenbuck, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4; No. 3 - Sarah Jiang (A) def. Katie Kaluza, 6-2, 6-3; No. 4 - Jaya Hatlestad (A) def. Kaylene Andrusick, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

DOUBLES - No. 1 - Kaylee Svee/Whitly Netland (A) def. Shelby Garding/Kirsten Weiling, 6-3, 6-2; No. 2 - Anna Doherty/Mackenna Aure (A) def. Abby Jopp/Ava Peters, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1; No. 3 - Teanna Horn/Mackenzie Galazen (R) def. Maci Tilleskjor/Rachel Wegner, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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