SIOUX FALLS-The Mitchell High School tennis team's inexperience showed on Monday, with Sioux Falls O'Gorman handing the Kernels their first loss of the season. The Knights took the dual 8-1, sweeping doubles play and winning five singles matches.
"We knew going in O'Gorman was a veteran team, and one of the best in the state," Mitchell coach Pat Moller said. "The score was lopsided, but I thought we played pretty well, especially in doubles. We continued to get better. If we do that every match, I think this is a team we can compete with by the end of the year."
Kade Clark earned the Kernels' lone win of the meet. He took down O'Gorman injury replacement Joey Gellerman 7-6(4), 6-3 in Flight 1.
"We were a lot more competitive than the score showed," Moller said. "We just didn't win the big points-the deuce points."
O'Gorman didn't drop another set. Macon Larson/Ben Helleloid forced a tiebreak in No. 3 doubles, but fell 6-7(5), 2-6 to Gabe Dally/Gellerman.
Despite the loss, Moller was pleased with Mitchell's aggressiveness in doubles play and decision-making.
"It was a good time to play a good opponent. We had six in a row we kind of cruised through and had some pretty easy matches," Moller said. "... What I liked about today is the shots we're trying to take are the right decisions."
The Kernels (6-1) play in the Aberdeen Central triangular on April 22.
Sioux Falls O'Gorman 8, Mitchell 1
Singles: No. 1: Kade Clark (M) def. Joey Gellerman (SFO), 7-6 (4), 6-3; No. 2: Wil McDowel (SFO) def. Ryan Bergeson (M), 6-2, 6-2; No. 3: Michael Yousef (SFO) def. Max Tupper (M), 6-0, 6-1; No. 4: Zach Ridl (SFO) def. Macon Larson (M), 6-4, 6-4; No. 5: Kade Moffitt (SFO) def. Ben Helleloid (M), 6-1, 6-0; No. 6: Gabe Dally (SFO) def. Tyler Loecker (M), 6-1, 7-5.
Doubles: No. 1: McDowel/Yousef (SFO) def. Clark/Bergeson (M), 6-2, 6-1; No. 2: Ridl/Moffitt (SFO) def. Tupper/Kaden Jerke (M), 6-3, 6-3; No. 3: Dally/Gellerman (SFO) def. Larson/Helleloid (M), 7-6 (5), 6-2.