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Kernel tennis opens season with two wins

PIERRE--Some early season questions were answered for an inexperienced Mitchell High School boys tennis team on Monday. The Kernels defeated Eastern South Dakota Conference foe Pierre (6-3) and blanked Rapid City Central (9-0) at the Pierre Trian...

Mitchell's Macon Larson, right, returns a volley during the Flight 3 doubles at the Pierre Triangular on Tuesday. Teammate Ben Helleloid is in the foreground. (Scott Millard / Pierre Capital Journal)
Mitchell's Macon Larson, right, returns a volley during the Flight 3 doubles at the Pierre Triangular on Tuesday. Teammate Ben Helleloid is in the foreground. (Scott Millard / Pierre Capital Journal)

PIERRE-Some early season questions were answered for an inexperienced Mitchell High School boys tennis team on Monday.

The Kernels defeated Eastern South Dakota Conference foe Pierre (6-3) and blanked Rapid City Central (9-0) at the Pierre Triangular.

"We don't have a lot of experience going into the year," MHS coach Pat Moller said. "So with that inexperience comes a little uncertainty, but I thought we came out and played well."

Against the Governors, Mitchell won four singles matches and two doubles matches. Kade Clark (Flight 1), Ryan Bergeson (Flight 2), Max Tupper (Flight 3) and Macon Larson (Flight 4) all won singles matches.

"We ran into a couple bumps against Pierre," Moller said. "But Pierre has a veteran team with a lot of experience coming back and that being an ESD match, that's a nice win for our team and certainly gave us some things to improve on."

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Clark and Bergeson won their Flight 1 doubles match against Jace Wernsmann and Ryan Warne 6-2, 4-6, 10-4.

"The little experience we have is with Kade Clark and Ryan Bergeson and that definitely showed," Moller said. "They didn't show the nerves that some of the other kids did with starting out. They are going to be a good force for us starting out at the top, a good calming force and that experience that they have is going to pay dividends for us all year long."

At Flight 3 doubles, Larson and Ben Helleloid topped Pierre's Cole Nelson and Spencer Davis, 7-6 (7) and 6-0.

Against the Cobblers, Mitchell won all its matches in straight sets.

"Rapid City Central is a young team and they don't have a lot of experience and that kind of showed," Moller said. "It was a nice confidence booster for us and we just kind of took care of business."

Up next, the Kernels (2-0, 1-0 ESD) will host St. Thomas More and Harrisburg in their home triangular at 11 p.m. on Friday at Hitchcock Park.

Mitchell 9, Rapid City Central 0

Tuesday at Pierre

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Singles

Flight 1: Kade Clark (M) def. Pacey Nelsen (RCC), 6-0, 6-0; Flight 2: Ryan Bergeson (M) def. Dylan Pederson (RCC), 6-1, 6-0; Flight 3: Max Tupper (M) def. Taite Sumption (RCC), 6-0, 6-1; Flight 4: Macon Larson (M), def. Carson Versteeg (RCC), 6-1, 6-0; Flight 5: Ben Helleloid (M) def. Noah Gire (RCC), 6-0, 6-0; Flight 6: Tyler Loecker (M) def. Rhett Svarstad (RCC), 6-2, 6-0.

Doubles

Flight 1: Clark/Bergeson (M) def. Nelsen/Pederson (RCC), 6-0, 6-1; Flight 2: Tupper/Kaden Jerke (M) def. Sumption/Versteeg (RCC), 6-1, 6-2; Flight 3: Larson/Helleloid (M) def. Gire/Svarstad (RCC), 6-1, 6-0.

Mitchell 6, Pierre 3

Tuesday at Pierre

Singles

Flight 1: Kade Clark (M) def. Jace Wernsmann (P), 6-4, 6-3; Flight 2: Ryan Bergeson (M) def. Matthew Hanson (P), 6-4, 6-0; Flight 3: Max Tupper (M) def. Blake Judson (P), 6-3, 6-3; Flight 4: Macon Larson (M) def. Ryan Warne (P), 6-1, 6-1; Flight 5: Ben Helleloid (M) def. Grant Judson (P), 6-2, 6-3; Flight 6: Tyler Loecker (M) def. Luke Leingang (P), 6-2, 6-1.

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Doubles

Flight 1: Clark/Bergeson (M) def. Wernsmann/Warne (P), 6-2, 4-6, 10-4; Flight 2: Hanson/Judson (P) def. Tupper/Kaden Jerke (M), 7-5, 6-7 (6), 11-9; Flight 3: Larson/Helleloid (M) def. Cole Nelson/Spencer Davis (P), 7-6 (7), 6-0.

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