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Osterloo wins top flight, Kernels take second at ESD Conference Meet

By The Daily Republic ABERDEEN -- Tyler Osterloo won the rights to the top bunk for his freshman year at the University of Sioux Falls. The Mitchell High School senior earned the rights after he won the Eastern South Dakota Conference individual ...

By The Daily Republic

ABERDEEN -- Tyler Osterloo won the rights to the top bunk for his freshman year at the University of Sioux Falls.

The Mitchell High School senior earned the rights after he won the Eastern South Dakota Conference individual Flight 1 tennis championship over Pierre's Connor Forney -- his roommate next year at USF -- Friday in Aberdeen.

"After the match, he came up to me and said 'I just won the top bunk' " said Mitchell coach Gayle Klein, who coached her last ESD tennis tournament. Klein announced her retirement before the boys' tennis season began.

Osterloo was not the only Kernel who won their flight. Eighth-graders Jacob Cersosimo and Beau Brown won the fifth flight and sixth flight, respectively, and Brown and sophomore Tate Crago teamed up to the third flight of doubles.

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The four titles helped Mitchell to a second-place finish at the ESD conference tournament.

"We had a fantastic day," Klein said. "I am so proud of the kids."

Coming into the day, Klein was hoping the team would finish in the top half of the tournament.

"I figured fourth, and I thought going in, if we could come home with third I would be happy," she said. "I am ecstatic. We did a great job of positioning ourselves for state."

Mitchell was one match away from winning the ESD title, but Watertown ended up winning a decisive match over Aberdeen for the title.

"If they had lost, we would've won the title," Klein said. "We just missed winning it all."

The South Dakota state tennis tournament goes from May 19-21 in Sioux Falls.

Osterloo started the day with a 10-7 win over Yankton's Jeremy Cap. Only one set to 10 is played at the ESD tournament and the match must be won by two points. In the semifinals, Osterloo made quick work of Brookings' Mike Flynn with a 10-3 victory.

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Osterloo fell behind early to Forney in the championship match. Forney had an 8-5 lead before Osterloo changed the pace of the match, Klein said. Forney did not win another point as Osterloo won 10-8.

"That change of pace was the turning point for that match," Klein said.

Cersosimo cruised to 10-2 over Watertown's Tommy Nealon in the fifth flight championship match, while Brown defeated Pierre's Connor Shoop for the sixth flight championship.

Brown and Crago beat Watertown's tandem of Nealon and Tyler Hegge 10-8 in the championship of the third flight doubles.

Cersosimo and junior Taylor Moore almost won the doubles second flight, but Pierre's Nathan Ellenbecker and Jared Smith won the match 10-3. In the first flight of doubles, Osterloo and senior Jesse Gebel lost to Forney and Hans Leong of Pierre 8-3 in the third place match. The third place and consolation matches were played until eight points and had to be won by two points.

Klein said she was very happy with how the team's doubles matches went.

"We have struggled with doubles all season, and within the last week, it has clicked," she said. "For a young team, we had a pretty darn good day."

Gebel won the consolation championship in second flight singles over Yankton's Max Hunhoff 8-2. Moore also won the consolation championship in third flight singles over Lindun Lai of Brookings 8-6.

Related Topics: KERNELSTENNIS
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