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BROOKINGS—It was a long time in the making and on Saturday, South Dakota State University finally had a new and complete football stadium. You would have to go back a long ways in the history books to find that. After all, the previous home, Coughlin-Alumni Stadium was built in 1962 but was never really finished. The plan was for two permanent grandstands, one on each side of the field. SDSU only ever built one and that, along with temporary bleachers, got the job done for more than 50 years.
It wasn't a smooth start but it was the right finish for the Mitchell High School volleyball team on Thursday night. After dropping the first set, the Kernels came back to take the next three sets for a 3-1 win over Yankton Thursday in Eastern South Dakota Conference play at the Mitchell High School gym. Set scores were 18-25, 25-18, 25-14 and 25-18. Once the Kernels got in a rhythm, it was all Mitchell, who moved to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the ESD.
BRANDON—For a team that has feasted on its home-court advantage so far this season, the Mitchell High School volleyball team tested its game on the road Tuesday night. There, the Brandon Valley Lynx didn't allow the Kernels to get much going, pulling away after a tight first game for a three-set win in Eastern South Dakota Conference play in Brandon. Set scores were 27-25, 25-19, 25-13.
The Mitchell Kernels volleyball team is getting good at winning five-set matches. Two days removed from going the distance and defeating Watertown, the Kernels did it again Thursday, defeating the defending Class AA champions No. 5-ranked Aberdeen Central 3-2 in Eastern South Dakota Conference play at the Mitchell High School gym. The victory — by a 21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 15-7 score — is the first win for Mitchell over Aberdeen Central in 15 years. In four games, Mitchell (3-1, 2-1 ESD) has already matched the win total of the 2015 Kernels.
If the growth in Mitchell's tennis community wasn't apparent before, there is proof of it now at Hitchcock Park. More than 100 people gathered Thursday between the eight existing tennis courts and the four new courts that are about a month from being finished at the park on Mitchell's east side. An event was held to honor the project's contributors and celebrate Mitchell's tennis success with a social and doubles tennis mixer.
Starting today, the National Basketball League of America and its Mitchell-based team, the Dakota Magic, will cease to be a concept. Instead, the real thing, with players and snazzy uniforms on the Corn Palace floor, will be in action. The Magic — in the league's inaugural game — will take on the Sioux City Hornets at 7 p.m. tonight.
It was a nail-biter, but the Mitchell Kernels won a five-set match for the first time in three seasons Tuesday, toppling Watertown in a thrilling contest at Mitchell High School. Mitchell won 25-23, 25-19, 19-25, 23-25 and 15-13 in the Eastern South Dakota Conference match.
With the season drawing closer, Mitchell Christian's volleyball team was already facing its share of challenges. The team, which finished 15-12 and lost in the District 8B championship game to Hanson a year ago, has just three returning letterwinners in Kaitlyn Asmus, Grace Garrels and Abbie Reynen. Reynen won't be able to help the Golden Eagles this season after she tore her ACL in her knee over the summer.
The Mitchell High School cross country teams are growing and that's a good start to improving the quality of the Kernel running squad in 2016. Heading into today's season debut at the Mitchell Invitational, which begins at 10 a.m. at the Mitchell Middle School, the Kernels had 42 runners out for the team, which excited coach Keith Christensen. His passion has been passed on to the rest of the team, feeling energetic about this season.
For those curious about the Mitchell High School volleyball team in 2016, the Kernels' season opener Thursday night showed glimpses of both what Mitchell's team has become and what they can be. The Kernels battled No. 2-ranked Harrisburg for much of the night and took the third set from the Tigers before falling in four sets in front of a noisy and energetic crowd at the MHS gym. Set scores were 25-21, 25-14, 23-25 and 25-19 in the Eastern South Dakota Conference match, in which one couldn't tell that Mitchell had just three wins in all of 2015.