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MHS tennis closes in on strong state finish

SIOUX FALLS--The Mitchell Kernels continued to battle on Friday at the South Dakota State Girls Tennis Tournament and with that, the Kernels are shaping up for a strong finish.

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SIOUX FALLS-The Mitchell Kernels continued to battle on Friday at the South Dakota State Girls Tennis Tournament and with that, the Kernels are shaping up for a strong finish.

Mitchell is fourth after two days of play, with the final placement matches scheduled for today in Sioux Falls. The Kernels have 376.5 points, with Sioux Falls Lincoln holding a commanding lead for the state team title at 530 points. Sioux Falls O'Gorman is second with 435 points, Rapid City Stevens in third with 433 points and Watertown behind the Kernels in fifth with 345 points.

Mitchell coach Pat Moller said it was a solid day, one that moves his team one step closer to a season goal after claiming the Eastern South Dakota Conference title last week.

"It was a good day for our team and we have everybody going tomorrow in some shape or form, so that's a good feeling for the final day," Moller said. "I think we've got a group that's motivated to finish the season well (today.)"

A pair of doubles teams, with Sammy Pooley and Avery Larson at Flight 1 and Sarah Zimmerman and Madison Bohlen at Flight 3, will play in the championship semifinals today, with both Mitchell sides facing pairs from Lincoln. Those matches are scheduled for 9 a.m. today at McKennan Park, or the Huether Match Pointe Center, depending on weather conditions.

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On the singles side, Flight No. 6's Kiersten Bathke had Mitchell's upset of the tournament to date, taking out top-seeded Abbey Dehler, of Rapid City Stevens in the quarterfinals. Bathke, seeded eighth, won the match 10-8 and will play today for third place, after falling in the semifinals to Pierre's Sabrina Kintz.

"She's probably not old enough to know any better," Moller said of the freshman Bathke. "She just went out there and played a great match to get that win."

In addition to Bathke, Larson (Flight 2) and Zimmerman (Flight 5) are playing for third place in singles action. Those matches are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today.

Kelsey Dahme (Flight 3 singles) will play for fifth place and Ashley Jones (Flight 4 singles) will play for the consolation title. In doubles, Dahme and Jones will play for fifth place at Flight No. 2. Pooley finished seventh in Flight No. 1 for the Kernels.

Related Topics: KERNELS
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