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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton The Willmar Cardinals Preston Peterson lines up a return at the Willmar Senior High School courts on the way to winning the team point at 1-singles.

Boys tennis: Finally, Willmar's time to serve

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WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals launched their 2012 court campaign losing narrowly to Alexandria 4-3 on a cool, breezy Tuesday evening.

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The Central Lakes foes split singles and all three doubles matches were nailbiters.

Preston Peterson (1-singles) and Jimmy Unger (4) picked up the singles points. Eight-grade combo Tate Hovland-Drew Corneil won 3-doules 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. Willmar dropped a 3-setter at 2-doubles.

The decisive point came down to 2-singles where Jackson Burton lost in three sets.

"Jimmy and Preston were solid and that was a nice win for a pair of eighth-graders," said Jim Anderson, making his debut as head varsity coach.

Considering that this was the first time under fire, the players turned in a "good performance they can be proud of," the coach added.

The players will have opportunities to sharpen their skills with seven matches in nine days. Three of those come on Saturday at the Cardinal Invite. On Monday, the squad travels to Mankato West, a match rescheduled from April 5.

"It's nice to be underway after Easter vacation and the spring trips," said Anderson. "We just got the line-up together on Monday."

Alexandra 4, Willmar 3

Singles

(1) Preston Peterson, W, def. Trevor Grandgenett 6-1, 6-3 (2) Matt Machwadi, A, def. Jackson Burton 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 (3) Brock Wood, A, def. ThomasNilles-Mechart 6-2, 6-2 (4) Jimmy Unger, W, def. Mark Kallivig 6-2,6-2

Doubles

(1) Austin Storm-Brandon Holm, A, def Shane Christensen-Austen Hilding 6-1, 7-6 (8-6) (2) Will Harding-Ben Von Borgen, A. def. Sam Murphy-Mitch Johannes 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 (3) Tate Hovland-Drew Corneil, W, def. Ryan Johnson-Levi Duewenhoegger 5-7, 6-2, 6-3

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