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Mitchell splits triangular in Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS—The Mitchell High School girls tennis team faced some stiff competition in a triangular at Sioux Falls Lincoln on Tuesday.

The Kernels played Yankton and Lincoln a day after another dual meet in Sioux Falls against Roosevelt. It was an uneven day for Mitchell, which defeated Yankton 5-4 and was blanked by Lincoln, 9-0.

The Kernels used their depth in the singles lineup to edge the Gazelles, who won the top two flights in singles and in doubles.

Madison Bohlen, Atlanta Stahle and Olivia Huber all secured wins in singles play, but the meet came down to the No. 4 singles match and Kiersten Bathke was able to overcome a loss to Maddie Binder in Mitchell's first go-round with Yankton, battling back after losing the first set in a tiebreak and eventually taking match tiebreak, 10-5, to win.

"(Bathke) ended up pulling out the match tiebreak for us to win the dual," MHS head coach Pat Moller said. "Yankton definitely was a better team than the last time we played, but I believe we're a lot better than what we played (Tuesday)."

One of the reasons Moller believes Mitchell didn't perform to its potential was due to the weather conditions.

"The wind was horrible today," He said. "It was probably 30 miles per hour and we didn't make the adjustments that we needed to make and Yankton did, but good teams are able to find ways to win."

Stahle and Amber Moller also scored a win in No. 3 doubles.

The Kernels weren't able to squeeze out another win against Sioux Falls Lincoln, which is the defending state champion and a team Moller believes is still the best in the state.

Avery Larson and Kelsey Dahme fell to defending state champions Johana Brower and Ava Leonard at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively, as well as in No. 1 doubles play.

"They're playing right now the way we want to play," Moller said. "I think we can compete with them in just about every flight when we're playing at our best. ...We've got to find that rhythm again and find that confidence and hopefully we can do that in the next couple weeks as we get into the end-of-the-season tournament."

Mitchell (13-4) returns to action in a triangular with Yankton and Spearfish on Saturday at Hitchcock Park.