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MHS wins all opening day matches at state

Mitchell junior Jacob Cersosimo hits a backhand during a No. 1 singles match Thursday during the state boys tennis tournament at Sioux Park in Rapid City. (Chris Huber/Rapid City Journal)

RAPID CITY — The Kernels rolled through the first day of the state boys tennis tournament Thursday.

Mitchell totaled 332 points en route to winning all nine of its matches Thursday. The Kernels are tied at the top of the leaderboard with Sioux Falls O’Gorman, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Sioux Falls Washington and Rapid City Stevens. All five teams at the top did not lose a match on the opening day of the tournament.

Mitchell had a bye in every flight to start the day. Mitchell tennis coach Pat Moller said the team came out focused and ready to play.

“I like the way our guys came out and attacked and showed our opponents that we were the favorites in those matches,” he said, adding no match at the state tournament is easy. “You get to the state tournament and every match is challenging.

“They seem to be handling the extra attention and we’re just ready to play. Whatever happens, I know our kids played their best.”

Every Kernel singles player and doubles team advanced to today’s quarterfinal round, which begins at 9 a.m. at Sioux Park.

“We have to go into (today) and realize we’re not going to be undefeated,” Moller said. “We’ll lose matches we’re not supposed to and we’ll win some that we’re not supposed to. We have to be flexible and roll with the punches. If one guy loses, we have to make sure we pick that guy up. Not allow one match go into two.”