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MHS tennis finishes 12th at state tourney

SIOUX FALLS — On the final day of the girls’ state tennis tournament, Mitchell eighth-grader Sammy Pooley lost her fifth-place match 10-3 to Makenzie Marso, of Aberdeen Roncalli, Saturday in Sioux Falls.

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Pooley had defeated Marso two of three times earlier this season, but Mitchell coach Pat Moller said Marso just had a little more this time around.

“Sammy has that will to win that isn’t coachable,” Moller said. “She played her heart out but just played a girl who had a better game that day,”

Pooley was the lone Kernel still competing in the tournament on Saturday.

Mitchell finished 12th with 146 points as a team, more than doubling the 71 points for the Kernels in 2012, despite losing their top two players from last season.

“That’s what gets lost in all of this,” Moller said. “We were able to improve with every player having to move up at least two spots. It’s something to build on for the future of the program.”

The Kernels have no seniors and Moller can expect his team to come back next season intact.

Sioux Falls O’Gorman took first in the tournament with 764 points, ahead of second-place Sioux Falls Washington with 478.