SIOUX FALLS — The Mitchell girls’ tennis team has doubled its points from last year’s finish at the state tournament.
After the second day of competition, the Kernels are in 12th with 146 points. Sioux Falls O’Gorman leads the field with 632, leading Aberdeen Central (466) and St. Thomas More (466). State concludes today in Sioux Falls.
“I was disappointed with the way we played at ESD, but they’ve played so well here,” Mitchell head coach Pat Moller said. “It’s been so much fun and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Eighth-grader Sammy Pooley is the lone Kernel playing on the final day of the tournament. Pooley, who plays Flight 4 singles, will play for fifth place today against Brandon Valley’s Makenzie Marso. Pooley fell to Rapid City Stevens’ Alisha Wiedmeier in the quarterfinals but defeated Alexa Bryan, of Yankton, to advance to the fifth-place match.
“It was a gutsy performance in very tough, windy conditions,” Moller said of Pooley’s win over Bryan. “She kept her composure against a girl that beat her twice this season.”
Moller said Flight 1 singles player Grace Grabenstein has peaked at the right time. Grabenstein (2-2) defeated Watertown’s Emma Kays 10-7 but fell to Pierre’s Eileen Leong to get into the consolation finals.
“Grace played the best tennis of her career,” he said.
Flight 5 Allison Buckley (1-2) and Flight 6 Avery Larson (1-2) also won singles matches Friday. Flight 2 Tatum Dean and Flight 3 Haley Smith finished the tournament 0-2 in singles.
Mitchell’s Flight 3 doubles team (1-2) fell in the play-in match for the fifth-place match. The Kernels’ Flight 1 and Flight 2 doubles teams went 1-2 in the tournament.