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Kernels can’t shake off rust in loss to Aberdeen Central

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HURON -- It was a wild two days for the Mitchell High School girls tennis team and it may have led to some rust in an Eastern South Dakota Conference dual meet against Aberdeen Central on Friday.

The Kernels had not been on the court in a couple days as they drove to play Sioux Falls Washington on Thursday, but when word came down the interstate was closing, they were summoned home.

On Friday, Mitchell played Aberdeen Central in Huron and were not able to pull out a few tight matches in a 5-4 loss.

“We were maybe a little bit rusty today,” MHS head coach Pat Moller said. “But what it really came to was that we weren’t able to win any big points. We lost a lot of tiebreakers today, and it seemed like when we needed someone to step up, it was Aberdeen and not us.”

Kelsey Dahme topped Olivia Goetz, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 1 singles and Ashley Jones beat Megan Thone in No. 6 singles play, 6-3, 5-7, 10-6.

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But Mitchell (9-5, 4-3 ESD) dropped tiebreakers in three different matches, due to what Moller deemed an unaggressive style of play in big moments, marking the difference in the meet.

Kiersten Bathke fell to Emily Ringgenberg at No. 4 singles, 7-6(1), 6-2. Meanwhile, Dahme and Atlanta Stahle dropped a No. 1 doubles match to Goetz and Mirra Frohling, 7-5, 7-6(4) and Aberdeen’s Jennifer Appl and Megan Thone defeated Olivia Huber and Amber Moller, 6-3, 7-6(3), in No. 2 doubles.

Mitchell sophomore Julia Platt filled in for Huber -- who is still battling an injury -- at No. 3 singles and beat Alice Vogel, 6-1, 6-2, in her first varsity match.

Allison Mastel continued her strong doubles play, teaming with Bathke to score a 7-6(4), 6-2 win over Emily Ringgenberg and Yufeng Peng at No. 3 doubles.

“Allison Mastel has been playing No. 3 doubles for the last three matches and that’s something we’re going to stick with,” Moller said. “... (Huber) came back to play doubles today, but that’s the first time she played in a week and a half and it was good to see her back.”

Mitchell hosts Sioux Falls Lincoln and Yankton in a triangular at 11 a.m. on Monday at Hitchcock Park.

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