Senior captains Trent Anderson and Gunnar Askegaard are capitalizing on their time to shine as the No. 1 doubles for the Brainerd Warriors.
The pair teamed up for a 6-3, 6-4 win in Monday’s 6-1 Central Lakes Conference win over St. Cloud Apollo/Sauk Rapids at Brainerd High School.
Anderson’s brother, Jared, a star swimmer for the Warriors, is now a standout at the University of Minnesota. Jared also played tennis for the Warriors but swimming was his sport.
“He’s got me in swimming but I’ve got him in tennis,” Trent Anderson said.
Askegaard was a reserve for the Warrior boys basketball team who didn’t often see the floor last season.
“The basketball season didn’t turn out the way I was hoping, but I had a lot of fun playing JV (junior varsity),” Askegaard said. “The guys needed me there and I had no problem helping them out.”
Chemistry, a significant component of a successful doubles team, is evident between Anderson and Askegaard. The two played together much of last year.
“We haven’t played every match together this year so we’ve just kind of been getting back to it,” said Anderson, who plans to attend Bethel University in Roseville and major in business entrepreneurship. “I would say this is our first match where we’ve really clicked and now we’re back for good.”
If the season progresses as they hope, Anderson and Askegaard will play No. 1 doubles in the team and individual section tournaments.
“Me and Trent played together all last year so we know how each other is thinking all the time,” said Askegaard, who plans to attend the University of Minnesota and possibly major in biomedical engineering. “I love playing with Trent because we have similar goals when we’re playing and we both want to accomplish the same thing. Trent’s a great partner.”
Anderson said the Apollo/Sauk Rapids duo of Mitch Kruger-Zach Hoggarth was more formidable than the score indicated.
“Actually, the guys we were playing were talented guys,” he said. “The key was we took the net on them and we were aggressive.”
Askegaard added that Monday’s match was not as easy as it appeared.
“All I know was after we lost on Friday to Bemidji we wanted to come back more aggressive,” he said. “I think we played more aggressive today than we have in any other match. We really got after the guys.”
Warriors coach Bruce Thompson said his senior captains have been doing a “great job leading.”
“They’ve picked their game up,” Thompson added. “We’re coming down to the end of our season where we’ve got to decide who’s going where. It’s kind of a statement for them to say they’re that No. 1 team.
“We’ve rotated a lot of guys in our doubles and singles. We’ve played probably 14 or so players in our varsity lineup.”
Brainerd singles winners were Lenka Zelinska at No. 1, DJ Kraemer at No. 2 and Luke Jacobsen at No. 4.
Additional doubles wins were provided by the duos of Reno Fussy-Jared Stearns and Parker Sundquist-Ben Anderholm.
Brainerd 6, Apollo/Sauk Rapids 1
No. 1: Lenka Zelinska (B) def. Levi Paul 6-4, 6-0
No. 2: DJ Kraemer (B) def. Caleb Johnson 6-2, 2-0 (injury default)
No. 3: Jordan McCall (ASR) def. Bobby Posch 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5
No. 4: Luke Jacobsen (B) def. Garrett Lillis 6-0, 6-2
No. 1: Trent Anderson-Gunnar Askegaard (B) def. Mitch Kruger-Zach Hoggarth 6-3, 6-4
No. 2: Reno Fussy-Jared Stearns (B) def. Tyler Brock-Cameron MacKinney 6-0, 6-0
No. 3: Parker Sundquist-Ben Anderholm (B) def. James Ano-Logan Battig 6-0, 6-0