Seniors lead Cardinals through memorable season

Eight seniors recognized after being fixtures for the Alexandria tennis team during a 9-3 season.

Alexandria's first doubles team of Kaylee Svee (left) and Whitly Netland celebrate a point in their win over Shelby Garding and Kirsten Weiling of Rocori on Sept. 1. Netland and Svee shared the Cardinals' MVP Award after going 11-1 in helping Alexandria to a 9-3 team record. Netland also earned the Most Team Spirit and Hardest Worker Awards from the team. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Alexandria girls tennis team had a veteran lineup this past fall season that had to adjust through all the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Cardinals maneuvered things as well as they could on the way to a 9-3 overall record.

“The girls did a great job of adjusting to all the changes that were involved so we could have a season,” head coach Dave Ronning said. “Wearing masks, sanitizing, distancing, only 12 matches, no quads or triangulars, no fans inside the fences at the courts, no tournament play past sections and no individual tournament, limited players on the bus and at the courts. And on and on it seemed to go.”

HatlestadJaya20 2.jpg
Jaya Hatlestad / Co-Most Wins

The Cardinals had a group of eight seniors on the team to help lead the way, and foreign-exchange student Tabea Roggenbuck will also have to be replaced after sliding right into the second singles spot. Brianna Holm, Sarah Jiang, Jaya Hatlestad, Kaylee Svee, Whitly Netland, Anna Doherty, Maci Tilleskjor and Grace Reed are seniors who all played consistent roles in the varsity lineup.


“Never before have we had such a situation,” Ronning said. “The hard work these girls put in through the years paid off and all our seniors were rewarded for it.”

Netland and Svee, the first doubles duo, were honored for their role in leading Alexandria to a second-place finish in the Central Lakes Conference at 7-1 by being named the Cardinals’ co-MVPs. Netland and Svee joined Hatlestad with the most wins on the team at 11-1.

It was part of a big list of honors that Netland brought home. She also earned the team’s Most Team Spirit and Hardest Worker Awards.

MaKenna Aure will be the lone player returning next season who was a part of Alexandria’s section tournament team. She was named the team’s most improved player, and Aure will join Hakyma Von Bargen and Ella Halvorsen as the 2021 team captains.

In addition to the team awards, the Cardinals also had three players named All-CLC in Holm, Svee and Netland. Hatlestad, Doherty and Aure were honorable-mention All-CLC players.

Off the courts, the Cardinals also performed well in the classroom where they earned a Team Scholastic Silver Award with a cumulative GPA of 3.74.

“Our JV team was 8-2 this past fall, but it will be a big jump to move to varsity next season,” Ronning said of the new wave of players coming in. “Predicting the future is always very hard to do, but we challenged those coming back, and our graduates to work for their future. There is an old saying that goes as such: ‘Where there is no faith in the future, there is no work in the present.’ We encourage the girls to have faith and confidence in their abilities and put the work in now, so the future is bright.” This group of girls were a delight to coach and they will be missed.”

ALEXANDRIA GIRLS TENNIS - LETTER WINNERS - Brianna Holm, Tabea Rogenbuck, Sarah Jiang, Jaya Hatlestad, Kaylee Svee, Whitly Netland, Anna Doherty, Kenna Aure, Maci Tilleskjor, Grace Reed, Hakyma Von Bargen, Rachel Wegner


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.
What To Read Next
Get Local