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As ESD hosts, Kernel girls tennis finishes fourth in conference meet

Carsyn Weich helps power Mitchell's performance at the Eastern South Dakota Conference championships at Hitchcock Park.

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Mitchell's Carsyn Weich hits a drop shot in a No. 3 singles match at the Eastern South Dakota Conference girls tennis championships on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 at Hitchcock Park in Mitchell.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — Carsyn Weich’s strong season continued on Tuesday at the Eastern South Dakota Conference girls tennis championships, as Weich stormed through her bracket to claim the No. 3 singles title at Hitchcock Park.

Weich, a sophomore, lost only eight games in three matches on the way to claiming the singles title, which was the only singles finalist for Mitchell in the ESD tournament.

Mitchell finished fourth in the nine-team event, with Watertown picking up the ESD title with 282 points. Aberdeen Central was second with 255 points, followed by Pierre at 214.5 points and Mitchell at 164.5 points, just ahead of fifth-place Yankton at 164.

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Mitchell's Maddie Childs returns a shot during a No. 6 singles match at the Eastern South Dakota Conference girls tennis championships on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 at Hitchcock Park in Mitchell.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

The No. 1 seed in her bracket, Weich opened play with a 10-1 win over Harrisburg’s Nicole Lin, followed by a 10-2 win over Brandon Valley’s Addison Meyers and a 10-5 title round win over Pierre’s Marlee Shorter. Weich improved to 21-2 on the singles season with the three wins.

Delaney Degen earned a third-place finish at No. 2 singles for Mitchell. She had a 10-7 win over Pierre’s Kara Weiss in the quarterfinals, followed by a 10-8 semifinal loss to Brandon Valley’s Michaela Jerke and then an 8-3 third-place victory over Watertown’s Ellie Zink.

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At Flight 6, Mitchell’s Maddie Childs earned a third-place finish for the Kernels. Childs had a 10-3 opening-round win over Brookings’ Anika Hooda, followed by a 10-6 loss to Watertown’s Sophia Nichols in the semifinals and then an 8-4 win over Pierre’s Caitlin Ott in the third-place match. At No. 5 singles, Ireland Blindauer finished 1-2 on the day, falling in the consolation bracket final by an 8-6 score to Aberdeen Central’s Laney Gonsor.

In doubles play, Weich and Megan Mastel at Flight 2 and Elly Clement and Mia Larson at Flight 3 each earned third-place finishes, which was tops for Mitchell.

At No. 1 singles, Watertown’s Jaida Young won, 10-5, over Yankton’s Nora Krajewski for the title. Young was the bracket’s No. 5 seed entering the tournament, taking out No. 1-seeded Emily Ringgenberg, of Aberdeen Central, in the semifinal round.

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Mitchell's Delaney Degen connects for a return shot during her No. 2 singles match at the Eastern South Dakota Conference girls tennis championships on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 at Hitchcock Park in Mitchell. (Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic)
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

Watertown finished with three of the six singles flight winners, including Josie Heyn at Flight 4 and Faith Berg at Flight 5. Yankton’s Sabrina Krajewski won the No. 2 singles bracket, topping Brandon Valley’s Michaela Jerke by a 10-3 score.

In doubles play, Emily Ringgenberg and Alice Vogel, of Aberdeen Central, won the No. 1 division title, while Jaida Young and Leyla Meester of Watertown won at No. 2 doubles. The Golden Eagles' Laney Gonsor and Reese Comstock won at No. 3 doubles.

The nine-team tournament was being played at the varsity level for the first time on the 12 courts at Hitchcock Park on Tuesday. Play began at 8 a.m. and started 12 hours of tennis action that finished under the lights.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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