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Mitchell graduate has standout season for Morningside

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sports Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

This season was "a once-in-a-lifetime experience" for Megan Solberg and the Morningside College women's tennis team.

The Mitchell High School graduate helped the Mustangs win the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament to advance to the school's first-ever NAIA national tournament appearance.

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"At the beginning of this season, we never would've guessed we would make it," Solberg, a junior, said. "It was a good accomplishment. We barely missed nationals my freshman and sophomore years, so it was nice to finally make it."

At the NAIA Women's Tennis National Championship in May in Mobile, Ala., the Mustangs suffered a 9-0 loss to Westmont (Calif.).

"That was the best team we've ever played," she said. "It was really fun to watch all of the teams there, and they were all very good. It was an honor to be there."

Despite not winning a match, Solberg said nationals is a place she wants to lead the Mustangs back to next year as a senior.

The accomplishment of earning a berth to nationals isn't the first big feat for Solberg in college. She has been named to the all-GPAC team all three years, twice as a No. 6 singles player and once as a No. 5 player.

Solberg has also set several school records, with one singles and one doubles record. In the 2014 season, she became the top singles winner in Morningside history. With a 10-6 record this season, she improved her career mark to 38-16 to break the previous record of 32 wins.

Solberg partnered with Audri Swisher to record a doubles record of 3-3 this season. The two set a school record in the 2012-13 campaign with a 15-3 record. Their combined career record of 18-6 set a school record for victories by a doubles team.

Solberg, who has a 25-11 career record in doubles competition, climbed to third in the Morningside record book with 63 career combined victories.

She said she has learned a lot from her college and high school coaches, including former Kernel coach Gayle Klein.

"There are a lot of good teams in the GPAC and a lot of good players," said Solberg, who was named as a scholar-athlete this season. "I've had to improve and being around good competition has really helped me do that."

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