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Kernels take fourth at Rapid City Invite

Mitchell's Jared Suelflow competes in doubles action with teammate Adam Loes during a triangular against Sioux Falls Washington and Aberdeen Central on Monday at Hitchcock Park. (Matt Gade / Republic)

RAPID CITY—After starting the tennis season hot in dual meet action, Mitchell High School head coach Pat Moller pointed towards the Rapid City Invitational at Sioux Park as a measuring stick to see the progression of his team.

At the end of the three-day tournament on Saturday, the Kernels finished in fourth place, with each of its singles and doubles competitors reaching the semifinals.

"We had some matches we probably should've won and a couple of matches that were closer, we came up short," Moller said. "Overall it was a good experience for our girls to get in that tournament atmosphere and hopefully it will prepare us well for the postseason."

Madison Bohlen was one of three Kernels to take second place in singles action and she was also part of a No. 2 doubles team that finished in second place.

Bohlen won her first match at No. 3 singles, 6-0, 6-1 and advanced to the finals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Brandon Valley's Sydney Pelletier. Bohlen eventually fell in the finals after a tight match against Katie Conrad of Rapid City Stevens, 6-4, 6-3.

In doubles, Bohlen partnered with Kiersten Bathke to reach the finals once again. Bohlen and Bathke cruised in the first round before taking a semifinal match, 7-6 (5), 6-1 over the St. Thomas More duo of Ainsleigh Scott and Bridget Raymond, who went on to win the No. 1 and No. 2 singles divisions, respectively. The Mitchell No. 2 tennis team eventually fell in the finals to Conrad and Abbey Dehler.

Atlanta Stahle also reached the finals at No. 5 singles, dropping a hard-fought match to Julia Wiedmeier of Rapid City Stevens in three sets. After losing the first 6-1, Stahle bounced back to win the next 6-2, before falling 10-8.

Olivia Huber lost another tough three-set final to Erica Wing of Stevens. Like her teammate, Huber lost the first set, won the second on a tiebreak and came up just short in the third.

"(Bohlen) has a lot of experience and it shows out there while she's playing," Moller said. "At the bottom of our lineup we have some pretty talented young players and I think they gained a lot of experience this weekend. If you can perform well and get some wins, that's a win-win."

Stahle and Amber Moller also placed second at No. 3 doubles, losing in two sets to Wiedmeier and Wing of Stevens.

Avery Larson came in third at No. 1 singles, while Kelsey Dahme came in fourth after bypassing the third place match due to soreness in her knee. The duo also took fourth at No. 1 doubles.

"We're continuing to work on getting into tournament shape and this was one step in that direction," Moller said.

Mitchell returns to the court Thursday with a triangular against Watertown and Sioux Falls O'Gorman at Watertown.

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