The Mitchell High School boys tennis team remained perfect on the young season on Friday.
The Kernels swept Eastern South Dakota Conference foe Harrisburg (9-0) and St. Thomas More (9-0) to complete their first week of the season. The Kernels won all but one match in straight sets. Mitchell started the week with wins over Pierre and Rapid City Central on Tuesday in Pierre.
"I was really happy with the improvement we showed from Tuesday in Pierre to today," MHS coach Pat Moller said. "We talked a lot about some of the things we need to fix and today we definitely made strides in the right direction. As a young team we are just continuing to look for growth and improvement and learn from the experience we get and I thought we did that this week."
Against Harrisburg, Kade Clark earned a three-set win over Desmond Looft in Flight 1 singles. Clark dropped the first set 6-7 (3), but rallied for 6-1 and 10-7 wins in the final two sets.
"Kade started out a little flat and he started to play a little defensive instead of going out playing to win," Moller said. "He was playing not to lose and he ended up dropping that first set, but just credit to him mentally. He was able to recover and he was a better tennis player and he just had to believe in himself and he gained some confidence in himself with that win. It was just a really strong mental performance from him after starting out not playing very well."
In Flight 5 singles against Harrisburg, Ben Helleloid overcame a shaky start and picked up a 7-6 (4), 6-2 win over Nick Anderson. Moller said Helleloid committed too many unforced errors, but cleaned things up after the slow start.
"He was kind of fighting that mental battle with him and once he decided that he wasn't going to let him beat himself, things turned around for him pretty quickly," Moller said.
The Kernels will play at the Brookings Triangular on Tuesday against the Bobcats and Aberdeen Roncalli.
Mitchell 9, Harrisburg 0
Friday at Hitchcock Park
Flight 1: Kade Clark (M) def. Desmond Looft (H), 6-7 (3), 6-1, 10-7; Flight 2: Ryan Bergeson (M) def. Isaac Donelon (H), 6-1, 6-3; Flight 3: Max Tupper (M) def. Mason Proehl (H), 6-1, 6-2; Flight 4: Macon Larson (M) def. Nick Tschudy (H), 6-1, 6-2; Flight 5: Ben Helleloid (M) def. Nick Anderson, 7-6 (4), 6-2; Flight 6: Tyler Loecker (M) def. Jaxon Hunter (H), 6-1, 6-3.
Flight 1: Clark/Bergeson (M) def. Looft/Donelon (H), 6-1, 6-1; Flight 2: Tupper/Kaden Jerke (M) def. Tschudy/Anderson (H), 6-2, 6-4; Flight 3: Larson/Helleloid (M) def. Proehl/Hunter (H), 6-2, 6-2.
Mitchell 9, St. Thomas More 0
Flight 1: Kade Clark (M) def. Sam Mortimer (STM), 6-3, 6-3; Flight 2: Ryan Bergeson (M) def. Rowan Evans (STM), 6-2, 6-3; Flight 3: Max Tupper (M) def. Nick Paikos (STM), 6-1, 6-1; Flight 4: Macon Larson (M) def. Baxter Meyer (STM), 6-0, 6-3. Flight 5: Ben Helleloid (M) def. Carter Janssen (STM), 6-3, 6-1. Flight 6: Tyler Loecker (M) def. Nate Berzina (STM), 6-2, 6-1.
Flight 1: Clark/Bergeson (M) def. Mortimer/Meyer (STM), 6-4, 6-4; Flight 2: Tupper/Kaden Jerke (M) def. Evans/Paikos (STM), 6-0, 6-1; Flight 3: Larson/Helleloid (M) def. Rhett Bradsky/Samuel Evans (STM), 6-1, 6-0.