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Boys tennis roundup: It's a learning moment for Willmar

Prep boys tennis report for Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in west central Minnesota. Experienced Brainerd squad beats young Willmar team 7-0

Gabe LaRue of Willmar sends the ball back over the net while taking on Mathew Morghan of Brainerd during a No. 2 singles matchup Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in Willmar.
Gabe LaRue of Willmar sends the ball back over the net while taking on Mathew Morghan of Brainerd during a No. 2 singles matchup Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in Willmar.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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WILLMAR — The Willmar boys tennis team went into its match Tuesday with Brainerd as a learning experience.

Brainerd is experienced and good. Willmar, meanwhile, is young and looking for its first victory.

Brainerd won the Central Lakes Conference match 7-0 at Willmar Senior High School.

Willmar No. 3 singles athlete Isaac Zelaya-Velasquez serves the ball to Eli McConkey of Brainerd during a home match-up in Willmar on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
Willmar No. 3 singles athlete Isaac Zelaya-Velasquez serves the ball to Eli McConkey of Brainerd during a home match-up in Willmar on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Cardinals head coach Forrest Rice wasn’t surprised.

“It was tough; Brainerd is always tough,” he said.

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The Warriors improved to 3-0 in the conference and 3-5 overall. Willmar fell to 0-2 in the conference and 0-2 overall.

“On meets like today, we knew it was going to be tough,” Rice said. “The big thing I told the players beforehand, is to try to learn from their opponents because they’re going to be playing really, really good kids.”

Ryan Newberg of Willmar eyes the ball while taking on the No. 2 doubles of Brainerd with teammate Jonathan Kelpe on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in Willmar.
Ryan Newberg of Willmar eyes the ball while taking on the No. 2 doubles of Brainerd with teammate Jonathan Kelpe on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in Willmar.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Willmar, he said, hasn’t had much outdoor practice time. And, the Cardinals began the year with nearly half their roster made up of ninth-graders.

Rice said he saw some positives from his No. 1 doubles team of senior Jorge Zelaya-Velasquez and junior Andrew Ziebarth, who lost 6-1, 6-1 to Karlton Anderson and Noah Madison.

“Jorge and Andrew are a much stronger doubles team than they were last year,” Rice said.

Willmar has two more home meets this week. The Cardinals play host to Alexandria on Thursday and Sartell on Friday.

Jonathan Kelpe of Willmar returns the ball back over the net as the Cardinals took on the Brainerd Warriors in Willmar on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
Jonathan Kelpe of Willmar returns the ball back over the net as the Cardinals took on the Brainerd Warriors in Willmar on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

“Alexandria is going to be another tough one,” Rice said. “They have a pretty good record so far. For us, it’ll be the same as today: trying to learn from their opponents, trying to learn the tricks of the trade. We’re getting some good outdoor court time so we might as well use it as best we can.”

Brainerd 7, Willmar 0

Singles
(1) Beck Barber, B, def. Josh Jensen 6-0, 6-0 … (2) Mathew Moraghan, B, def. Gabe LaRue 6-0, 6-1 … (3) Eli McConkey, B, def. Isaac Zelaya-Velasquez 6-0, 6-1 … (4) Gavin Jacobsen, B, def. Mateo Engan 6-0, 6-1.
Doubles
(1) Karlton Anderson/Noah Madson, B, def. Jorge Zelaya-Velasquez/Andrew Ziebarth 6-1, 6-1 … (2) Will Aadland/Clark Haglin, B, def. Ryan Newberg/Jonathan Kelpe 6-0, 6-1 … (3) Jalen Emslander/George Campbell, B, def. Aaron Marthaler/Brandon Escalon-Valladares 6-1, 6-0.

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Isaac Zelaya-Velasquez of Willmar serves the ball while playing Eli McConkey of Brainerd on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 in Willmar.
Isaac Zelaya-Velasquez of Willmar serves the ball while playing Eli McConkey of Brainerd on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 in Willmar.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

NLS 6, SJP 1

Jack Barney fought off two match points in the third set at No. 1 singles to pick up a big win for New London-Spicer as the Wildcats went on to beat St. John’s Prep in Waite Park.

Barney beat the Johnnies’ Chandler Hendricks, 6-4, 4-6, 9-7.

The Wildcats were 3-0 in doubles play, losing just four games. Adam Klaphake and Josh Soto won 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 2 spot.

NLS heads to Granite Falls Thursday to play Yellow Medicine East.

Singles
(1) Jack Barney, NLS, def Chandler Hendricks 6-4 4-6 9-7 … (2) Jowell Gamez, NLS, def Pablo Cervantes-Rodriguez 6-4 6-2 … (3) George Vedder, SJP, def Andres Rojas 6-4 7-5 … (4) Austin Okuly, NLS, def Jackson Hoover 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 7-5
Doubles
(1) Jack Noeldner/Matt Monson, NLS, def Kai Murtinson/Eli Burnham 6-0 6-2 … (2) Adam Klaphake/Josh Soto, NLS, def Jackson Glomski/Ben St. Hilaire 6-0 6-0 … (3) Sam Gamez/Joe Brouwer, NLS, def Isaac Peterson/Booth Everett-Towner 6-1 6-1

M-W 4, Litchfield 3

Mound-Westonka edged Litchfield in a Wright County Conference match at Mound.

Mound-Westonka earned victories at Nos 1, 3 and 4 singles and No. 2 doubles to edge the Dragons.

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Litchfield’s Mason Woelfel scored a 6-3, 6-4 victory at No. 2 singles over Charlie Paul. The Dragons’ double teams of Braeden Olson and Tyler Pennertz at No. 1 and Angel Medina and Josh Blomberg at No. 3 also earned wins.

Singles
(1) Carter Reinbold, MW, def. Alex Draeger 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 … (2) Mason Woelfel, L, def. Charlie Paul 6-3, 6-4 … (3) Jackson Briggs, MW, def. Garrison Jackman 6-4, 6-2 … (4) Quinn Vochko, MW, def. Nathan Wuotila 6-3, 6-1.
Doubles
(1) Braeden Olson/Tyler Pennertz, L, def. Max Epsky/Dylan Mather 7-6, 6-4 … (2) Eric Larson/Brady Hoehr, MW, def. Brady Cannon/Eli Schacherer 6-4, 6-3 … (3) Angel Medina/Josh Blomberg, L, def. Blake Reinbold/Ambrose Neumann 2-6, 6-4, 7-6.

Benson/KMS 7, LQPV/D-B 0

Taylor Duncan lost just one game at No. 1 singles as Benson/Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg cruised to a West Central Conference win against Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd at Benson.

The Braves host Litchfield on Thursday. LQPV/D-B hosts Montevideo on Wednesday.

Singles
(1) Taylor Duncan, B/KMS, def Jackson Buer 6-1 6-0 … (2) Hunter LeClair, B/KMS, def Liam Risch 6-2 6-2 … (3) Alberto Vargas, B/KMS, def Gavin Stuly 6-2 6-1 … Logan Schauer, B/KMS, def Matt Martinson 6-3 6-2
Doubles
(1) Mason Bakke/Matthew Thompson, B/KMS, def Levi Olson/Wyatt Wiebe 6-2 6-0 … (2) Isaac Carlson/Harold Habben, B/KMS, def Nate Gruwell/Garrett Kostad 6-1 6-3 … (3) Alex Carlson/Jonathan Ilstrup, B/KMS, def Gunnar Olson/Luke Stock 6-2 6-2

Minnewaska 7, YME 0

Minnewaska won all seven matches in two sets to clinch a West Central Conference win over Yellow Medicine East in Granite Falls.

Both teams return to action on Thursday. The Lakers play host to Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd. The Sting will stay at home to play New London-Spicer.

Singles
(1) Tate Reichmann, M, def Ean Clarke, 6-2 6-1 … (2) Gannon Walsh, M, def Jackson Torgerson, 6-1 6-2 … (3) Ethan Quelle, M, def Ryan Syring, 6-1 7-5 … (4) Alec Larson, M, def Derrick Lien 6-0 6-2
Doubles
(1) Nik VanDyke/Damon Uhde, M, Austin Canatsey/Isaac Olevson, 6-0 6-2 … (2) Connor Quelle/Tenzin Dahl, M, Mason Rhode/Gage Corner, 6-4 6-0 … (3) Konner Hanson/Noah Palmer, M, Karter Canatsey/Ryan Brouwer, 6-0 6-0

More boys tennis coverage:
Recent boys tennis coverage from west central Minnesota.
Tate Reichmann closes out a big week Friday at the state Class A tournament in Minneapolis.

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