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Doubles tandems help Kernels stay unblemished

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RAPID CITY -- The Mitchell High School girls tennis team traveled west and began the Rapid City Invitational with its stiffest test to date.

The unbeaten Kernels squared off with Rapid City Christian in a dual meet on Thursday, and after singles play, the meet was tied 3-3.

Mitchell was able to find its footing in doubles play and took all three matches -- including a No. 3 doubles match that went to a tiebreak -- to score a 6-3 win to improve to 7-0 on the season.

“We let a couple matches get away from us in singles,” MHS head coach Pat Moller said. “At No. 4 and No. 5 (singles), we probably should have won those two matches. We probably didn’t play our best tennis, but they got right back out there in doubles and played well.”

Kiersten Bathke and Amber Moller both dropped matches in a tiebreak at No. 4 and No. 5 singles, respectively. Olivia Huber (No. 3 singles) and Ashley Jones (No. 6 singles) were able to score wins.

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While the team evaded its first defeat, Mitchell’s Kelsey Dahme suffered her first loss of the season at No. 1 singles, falling to Ella Hancock, 6-2, 6-0.

Atlanta Stahle remained unblemished in singles play, topping Bridget Schneller at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-4. Then, Dahme was able to get a bit of redemption by teaming with Stahle to beat Hancock and Paige Wagner at No. 1 doubles, 6-3, 6-2.

“Kelsey and Atlanta just keep getting better at doubles,” Moller said. “In every match that they play, they learn a little more. If they continue to be sponges and learn like that, when we play in the state tournament, they’re going to be ready.”

Huber and Moller topped Julia Anderson and Bridget Schneller, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 2 doubles, while Bathke and Jones beat Anna Ligtenberg and Mia Shankle, 6-3, 3-6, 10-5.

Mitchell’s dual with Rapid City Stevens was not completed by press time, but full results can be found at mitchellrepublic.com.

The Kernels continue play in the Rapid City Invitational with a dual meet against St. Thomas More at 8 a.m. Friday.

Related Topics: TENNISPREP SPORTS
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