Looking back, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva graduate Alexis Anderson can chuckle about her decision to take a handball class at Minnesota State University, Mankato because she’s having a blast.
Anderson, short of a human performance credit, signed up for handball to fill the credit but got taken aback when she realized it wasn’t team handball like she thought. Instead it was handball inside a handball court and she found herself one of two girls in the course.
“I thought I can’t do this, but I just kept going to class,” Anderson said.
Anderson showed a natural knack for the game and caught the eye of the club team coach, who recruited her to join the team.
“The first day of class he pulled me aside and said I have potential if I put the work in,” she said.
Anderson competed in the 2020 National Handball Collegiate Tournament. The 68th USHA National Collegiate Handball Championships were held at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas on February 19-23. Collegiate handball players representing 36 institutions from around the world participated in the five-day event.
Anderson, a four-sport 2019 graduate of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, took to the sport.
The Minnesota State, Mankato handball team competed at University of Illinois, Missouri State University, University of Minnesota Classic, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Classic, Illinois State Singles, Lombard, IL and the Minnesota State Mankato Maverick Open before heading to the USHA Collegiate Nationals at the University of Texas.
After agreeing to be on the team and just a few days of practice for Anderson and team would head to University of Illinois where she competed for her first time. Anderson placed third in the women’s singles small ball – B division Illini Invitational. Anderson won two matches and lost two matches. She won four games and lost three to take third for her first competition and even winning over one of the top competitors.
In November 2019, the Mavericks traveled to Springfield, Missouri to play in the defending national champions, Missouri State University’s annual Bear Bash handball tournament. Maverick newcomer, Anderson teamed with Missouri State’s Kathy Taylor to capture the women’s B doubles consolation title 21-2, 21-6.
The University of Minnesota, Gopher Classic was held in November with Maverick newcomers having a great weekend. Due to the lack of women’s entries, the Mavericks entered the B women participants into the men’s C division. Newcomers Anderson and Kaitlyn Vomhof both defeated first-year men players from the University of Minnesota.
The Mavericks traveled to the Milwaukee Classic in December. There were a lot of collegiate women players in the Women’s Classic bracket, so these matches were important for seeding in the USHA’s national collegiate tournament in February. Players from University of Illinois, Missouri State, University of Texas, and others battled on the courts. Anderson made the final of the Bronze division losing to Hannah Levy of the University of Illinois.
The 68th USHA National Collegiate Handball Championships University of Texas at Austin was held on February 19-23. The Maverick Combined Club Handball Team Finished Second at the National Tournament. The combined men’s and women’s handball teams finished as runner-up to Missouri State University. The Maverick women’s team finished runner-up in the nation to Missouri State University, while the men’s team finished fifth in the tournament.
Anderson of Ellendale and Molly Hlebichuk of Rochester teamed up to finish as runner-up in the women’s B division Doubles. Anderson placed fourth in the women’s B1 division at the national level.