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Kernel tennis suffers first loss of season

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.