Cersosimo wins ESD title for Kernels girls' tennis teamBRANDON — Kendra Cersosimo does not have to worry about her siblings having bragging rights over her any more.
By: Sports staff, The Daily Republic
BRANDON — Kendra Cersosimo does not have to worry about her siblings having bragging rights over her any more.
The Mitchell High School senior earned her first career Eastern South Dakota Conference tennis championship Thursday at the ESD meet at Brandon Valley Community Tennis Complex.
Cersosimo’s younger brother, Jacob, won an ESD title last season as an eighth-grader, while her older sister, Brooke, is a former ESD champ.
“Winning the ESD championship, we all kind of covet those,” first-year Mitchell coach Pat Moller said. “She said she was glad to not be the only person in her family to not get one.”
Cersosimo won the No. 3 singles flight championship. She went 3-0 on the day and beat Watertown’s Mariah Hericks, the No. 2 seed in the flight, in the final. Cersosimo was the No. 4 seed coming into the event.
“She was no question the best player at that flight (Thursday),” Moller said. “She handled the wind really well.”
All the players had to deal with a gusty wind, Moller said.
“The wind made it less of a game about skill and more of a game about intelligence,” Moller added. “You really had to constantly be thinking out there to be successful.”
Mitchell’s No. 1 and No. 2 players each won the consolation title in their flights. Amanda Hegg beat Pierre’s Eileen Leong in the consolation final after losing to Watertown’s Lori Foltz in the first round. Foltz went on to win the title at No. 1 singles.
Courtney Wells also faced the eventual champion in her first-round match at No. 2 singles. She came back after falling to Yankton’s Lexie Klimisch in the opening round to beat Brookings’ Sarah He in the consolation championship.
Wells also beat Brandon Valley’s Hayley Naasz in the second round. Naasz had beaten Wells twice earlier this season.
“They both played fantastic and came back on the other side of the bracket and played real well and did what they needed to do,” Moller said of Hegg and Wells.
Mitchell’s No. 1 doubles team of Hegg and Cersosimo also won the consolation title. The two teamed up to beat a Brandon Valley team in their final match of the day.
Kayla White lost the championship match at No. 4 singles. White beat a Huron opponent and a Watertown opponent to reach the final, where she fell to Aberdeen’s Kristen Hanson.
“She played as well as she could have played,” Moller said of White.
At No. 2 doubles, Wells and White lost the third-place match to a team from Pierre. Wells and White beat a Brookings’ team in the first round and fell to an Aberdeen squad in second-round action.
Grace Grabenstein lost the consolation title match to a Watertown opponent at No. 6 singles. Chelsea Kracht went 0-2 at No. 5 singles for the Kernels.
Kracht and Abby Yahne teamed at No. 3 doubles and went 0-2 for Mitchell, which will be back in action at the Class AA state tournament Oct. 6-8 in Sioux Falls.
NOTE: The ESD meet was originally scheduled for today in Brandon, but was changed to Thursday because one of the participating schools had homecoming this weekend and requested, Moller said. Once the forecast projected so much win Thursday, it was discussed to change the date back to today, but the final decision remained with Thursday.