Alexandria girls tennis coach Dave Ronning was proud of how his team battled through some adversity this fall to post a 15-10 overall record and finish 10-2 for second place in the Central Lakes Conference.
The Cardinals were a relatively new-look group that lost one of its seniors, Annie Harding, to injury early in the year. They rallied around that and finished with another winning campaign.
“We tend to determine how successful our season is by how many wins we compile,” Ronning said. “This season was a different story. This season was based on how we dealt with adversity. Just a couple weeks into our season, we were dealing with injuries and setbacks we have not dealt with in years past.”
Ronning said this team was filled with good athletes who continued to get better as tennis players with every match. The Cardinals honored a lot of those players at their season-ending banquet, including Brianna Holm, who was named this group’s MVP after anchoring the top singles spot all year.
Holm has been named a 2020 captain with Whitly Netland and Kaylee Svee. Holm joined Joria Downing and Taylor Sayre in being named All-CLC, with Svee, Autumn Botz and Netland earning honorable-mention status in the conference.
Netland and Botz each took home the award for the most wins on the team with 20. Sayre earned Alexandria’s Team Spirit Award, while Netland was named the most-improved player and Downing earned the Hardest Worker Award.
“We played with many different lineups and combinations because of injuries and different situations and the girls continued to step in and step up their play,” Ronning said. “We talked about the team slogan, ‘All Out, All Season,’ and the opportunities it created and the commitment levels of our players, and what it will take to carry this into the offseason and into next season. We have the girls here to see this through. Now they have to stay committed and put the work in to get the results.”
Harding, Botz, Elle Murphy, Downing and Sayre were five seniors on the team. The Cardinals have spots to fill next year, but Ronning is confident in the girls coming back to lead the way.
“Hard work and commitment is the only way (a CLC title) can be captured,” Ronning said. “The coaching staff truly believes this group can accomplish this.”