Smith, Dean, two doubles teams still in the hunt for Mitchell at state tennisRAPID CITY — The Mitchell High School girls’ tennis team has two singles players and two doubles teams still in the mix at the state tennis tournament in Rapid City.
By: Sports Staff, The Daily Republic
RAPID CITY — The Mitchell High School girls’ tennis team has two singles players and two doubles teams still in the mix at the state tennis tournament in Rapid City.
“I think we did really well,” MHS assistant coach Bruce Mastel said. “We’ve made improvements all year long, and we know this is a rebuilding year. Every girl fought for every match and that’s all we can ask for.”
Head coach Pat Moller is unable to coach for the entire state tournament because he has to attend a conference in New York as last year’s South Dakota teacher of the year. Former Kernels head coach Gayle Klein also stepped in to help Mastel in place of Moller.
Mitchell’s No. 4 singles player, Haley Smith, won her first match against Sioux Falls Lincoln’s Meredith Benson in a third-set tiebreaker. She lost the second match but came back to defeat Brookings’ Yixuan He 8-5 to earn a spot in the consolation semifinals.
After receiving a bye in the first round, No. 6 singles player Tatum Dean lost to No. 2 seed Lexy Ronning, of Sioux Falls Lincoln. Dean rebounded to beat Milbank’s Cara Berkner for a spot in the consolation finals as well.
No. 1 Courtney Wells and No. 2 Chelsea Kracht went 0-2 in singles, while No. 3 Grace Grabenstein and No. 5 Halle Larson finished 1-2 on the day. All four players are out of the singles draws.
Mitchell’s No. 2 doubles team of Grabenstein and Smith went 0-2 and is out of the tournament.
Mitchell’s No. 1 doubles team of Wells and Kracht, both seniors, are still in the consolation side of the draw. After a first-round loss to Sioux Falls Washington, Wells and Kracht defeated Brookings, which the Kernels lost to earlier in the season.
“They really came out on fire and played smart tennis,” Mastel said referring to Mitchell’s win against Brookings. “They’re pumped for tomorrow and it was a great win for them.”
The No. 3 doubles team of Allison Buckley and Sammy Pooley are in the consolation side of the bracket as well.
The tournament continues at 10 a.m. Central time today at Sioux Park.