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Win streak snapped

Mankato West edges Packers

MANKATO — The Austin High boys tennis team dropped a close Big Nine Conference dual meet on Tuesday against Mankato West.

The Mankato West Scarlets won a couple of close doubles matches to edge the Austin Packers by a 4-3 margin in the conference dual. This snapped a seven-meet winning streak overall for the Packers and ended a run of four straight wins in conference duals.

Every match was hotly contested in this conference dual meet. The two teams split the four singles matches on the day.

All of the singles matches went to three sets. Drew Halvin of the Packers overcame a loss in the first set to win the match at No. 1 singles.

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Chris Zink of the Packers followed a similar route after losing in the opening set and then turning things around to win the match at No. 2 singles.

"West edged us in a critical conference match and it was a close one the whole way," Austin coach Josh Bendickson said.

"All four singles matches went to three sets. This doesn’t happen too often and we were able to win at No. 1 and No. 2 to keep us alive. Halvin and Zink really turned it on in the second and third sets."

Ryan Urlick and John Register of the Packers lost in straight sets at No. 1 doubles, but both set came right down to the end. David Wiebelhaus and Riley Ettinger got the only win for the Packers in doubles as they won in straight sets at the No. 2 spot.

"It was really close in No. 1 doubles but we came up short," Bendickson said. "Our No. 2 doubles team played well and rolled through their match. We struggled a little at three doubles in this meet.

"We’ve been on the winning end of the close matches lately, so this one was tough to swallow. On a positive note, we are still in control of our destiny. We have Albert Lea, Winona, and Century left.

"We have to win twice to keep the third seed in the conference and if we can find a way to sweep these teams, we’ll get the two seed. These will be some tough, critical matches at the end of the regular season."

Austin (7-3, 4-2 Big Nine) plays host to Albert Lea in a conference dual today at the Paulson Courts.

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MANKATO WEST 4, AUSTIN 3

Singles — Drew Halvin (A) def. James Lager 4-6, 6-2, 6-1; Chris Zink (A) def. Ryan Anderson 3-6, 6-3, 6-1; Hannan Mir (MW) def. Steve Mino 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Pat Trembley (MW) def. Peter Lindahl 6-3, 6-7, 6-1.

Doubles — John Moddy/Mitch Johnson (MW) def. Ryan Urlick/John Register 7-5, 7-6; David Wiebelhaus/Riley Ettinger (A) def. Ricky Litchfield 6-2, 6-2; Ryan Tieg/Ryan Schwickert (MW) def. Tony Anderson/David Lindahl 6-2, 6-4.

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