Brianna Holm has been on the Alexandria girls tennis varsity roster since she was in seventh grade. After several years of being a focal point for the Cardinals as the top singles player, she is excited to prove what she’s made of at the college level.
Holm is heading to the University of Sioux Falls to play for the Cougars. On Wednesday, Nov. 18, she signed her national letter of intent in front of her friends, family and coaches at the Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria.
“Today was really important to me because I didn’t think doing this signing in person was going to be possible,” Holm said. “I’m surprised everybody that was here was willing and that we could get people on Zoom. It’s really important to see everybody here that’s helped me get to where I am today. It’s just humbling.”
USF is a Division II program in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. She joins local talent Joelle and Danielle Thorfinnson from Glenwood on the Couger’s roster next fall.
“It’s the perfect match for me,” Holm said. “It has every characteristic I want in a school. It’s a great Christian school. I don’t know that many people there, but that’s exciting in a way. I know that I’m going to love it from the people I’ve already met. The coach is amazing, and so is the team and the administration.”
Faith has been a part of Holm’s decision from the beginning. Finding a college that emphasizes her beliefs was a deciding factor in her recruiting process.
“It’s important for me to have an opportunity to grow beyond tennis,” Holm said. “Coach (Dave) Ronning has always said it’s important to be your true self, and I really wanted to find an experience that will give me that. I want to grow in my faith and have it in all aspects of my life. If I didn’t go to a school with that Christian aspect, I could always find opportunities through faith programs like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. But to find a place that will support me like that is special.”
Holm started her high school career playing in the No. 3 doubles slot. After two seasons, she was promoted to the top doubles team for the Cardinals before finishing her career at No. 1 singles. Playing under supportive coaches and with impactful teammates has helped Holm take her game to new heights.
“They’ve helped me in so many ways,” Holm said. “Mentally, they’ve helped me to push through adversity. Even if you’re down, and you think you’re going to lose, you have to keep fighting. That’s something I’ve learned in high school from my coaches.”
“Playing doubles has made me a better teammate,” Holm said. “When I played first doubles, my partner and I always took it one point at a time. I carried that with me when I played singles. They’ve taught me how to stay determined while also staying humble. In this game, you can’t have a big head. Tennis feels like an individual sport, but you win and lose as a team.”
When Holm started playing high school tennis, she had no idea that it would lead to her getting an opportunity to play in college.
“I didn’t think it was possible,” Holm said. “In seventh grade, I was in the lowest spot on the roster. I thought it was crazy I was even on the team. At the time, it was surreal. Looking back now, I can’t even remember picturing me playing in college. Now I get to grow in my faith, build friendships and keep playing the game I love.”