Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
- Member for
- 1 year 6 months
At the start of the week, the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team had its sights set on cracking into the top 25 national poll. But on Wednesday, No. 3 Morningside College made the goal seem somewhat distant as it defeated the Tigers 74-59 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference matchup at the Corn Palace. "We've just got to get this out of our head that we can't compete with top teams," DWU head coach Jason Christensen said.
It's Tuesday, and the starting lineup for Friday's Mitchell High School boys' basketball home opener is still hazy for coach Tom Young. In his first season with the program, Young has had to learn the ropes of the Mitchell system. "In following the tradition that the Kernels have had, there is intrinsic pressure to do well for the kids, program, school and community," said Young, who accepted the position April 7.
Great offensive and defensive players are needed for a team success in volleyball. And that's just what the Kernels had in dynamic duo Taylin Alm and Megan Farnham, who were both Class AA all-state selections. The list, comprised of first-team, second-team and honorable-mention honorees, is chosen by South Dakota coaches. "In volleyball, there's such distinct roles that have to come together to make a complete team," Kernels head coach Deb Thill said.
The Mitchell Marlin boys' varsity hockey team has a target on its back after winning last year's state title. "Any time a team wins a state title, they're painted," varsity head coach John Lord said. "We know everybody wants to beat us, and there's nothing better than taking out the previous championship team early in the season." With that said, the Marlins' roster has flip-flopped from last year, putting all sophomores and juniors on the ice.
Taylin Alm was the perfect person to fill a glaring void on the Kernel volleyball team. The 6-foot-4 junior knew someone had to step in for go-to hitter Dana Misiaszek, who broke the school record for most kills in her senior season in 2011. "I thought that I could do it," Alm said. She not only filled the void, but exceeded expectations. At the state tournament two weeks ago, Alm broke Misiaszek's record for number of kills in a season.
Jason Christensen was less than happy with his team's first-half defense, allowing 49 points to Dordt College. "I was very upset," said Christensen, the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball coach. Dordt -- a Great Plains Athletic Conference foe which shot seven three-point baskets in the first half -- held a 10-point lead late in the first half. But DWU cut the deficit within three on a buzzer-beater jump shot by Celeste Beck. A whole new defensive team stepped out of the locker room after the break, leading to a Tigers' 95-84 win over Dordt Wednesday at the Corn Palace.
The Tigers had 10 wrestlers qualify for the NAIA national tournament and three within one match of earning All-American status last season. This season is all about taking the next step. "In the past, the kids hope to make it," Dakota Wesleyan head coach Matt Sedivy said. "They didn't believe that was going to happen, but this year they know what they are capable of and have the confidence to reach the next level." Richard Rios, Trever DeVestern and Kyle Gerlach, who made the round of 12 at NAIA nationals last year, all return to the lineups this season.
The Kernel boys' basketball team had its first practice Monday, but something was very different about the atmosphere. A new voice constructed drills. A new stature stood on the sidelines. A new face planned for the season ahead. A changing of the guard happened when former Mitchell coach Gary Munsen retired after last season and Tom Young, a former basketball coach for Mitchell Christian, was hired. Under Young, 16 players took the floor at the Corn Palace to practice drills, condition and learn a new system.
The Mitchell High School gymnastics team opens its season today but will be without its top athlete. The Kernels' top all-around performer, sophomore Rebecca Sadler, suffered a foot injury during preseason practices, which began Oct. 29. She will be out for six weeks. Head coach Audra Rew, whose team competes against Yankton and Sioux Falls Washington at 6:30 p.m. today in Yankton, said Sadler hopefully will be ready to compete by the second half of the season. "It'll hurt us by not having her on bars," said Rew, who is in her seventh season with the Kernels.
In 1994, the Roosevelt Rough Riders walked into the Mitchell High School gymnasium wearing something that caught the eyes of the Kernel volleyball players. It was spandex. "We were wondering what the heck they were wearing," said Mitchell's Melanie Puetz-Mullenmeister, who was on the squad. "You wouldn't have caught us dead in those bun-huggers." Puetz-Mullenmeister was a junior when the tight-fitting attire was introduced to the high school level of South Dakota volleyball.