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Bottom of the lineup carries MHS tennis in Rapid City Invite opener

Mitchell's Max Tupper prepares to volley during the Rapid City Tennis Invitational at Sioux Park in Rapid City on Thursday. (Adam Fondren / Rapid City Journal)

RAPID CITY—The bottom of the lineup carried the Mitchell High School boys tennis team during the first day of the Rapid City Invite on Thursday.

Macon Larson (Flight 4), Ben Helleloid (Flight 5) and Tyler Loecker (Flight 6) combined to go 6-0 in singles play as the Kernels split a pair of dual meets. They would beat Rapid City Christian, 6-3, and drop a tight match to Rapid City Stevens, 5-4.

"Rapid City Stevens is really strong at the top of their lineup and they showed that today," MHS head coach Pat Moller said. "We just have to get better if we're going to compete with that team. We lost a couple tiebreakers that we shouldn't have."

Larson, Helleloid and Loecker each won both of their matches in straight sets, while the tandem of Larson and Helleloid went 2-0 in No. 3 doubles action.

Kade Clark dropped a pair of matches in Flight 1 singles, while Ryan Bergeson split his matches at Flight 2 singles. They would also fall in both No. 1 doubles matches on the day.

Kaden Jerke and Max Tupper won their first No. 2 doubles match against Rapid City Christian and then lost to Rapid City Stevens after losing a lead in the second set and falling in a tiebreak.

"The key match in that dual loss was No. 2 doubles," Moller said. "We couldn't seem to get on track. We started out slow and dropped that first set. We had a lead in the second set and ended up dropping that. That was probably where we lost the dual, but we're overall, we're looking forward to tomorrow."

Mitchell returns to action today in a dual against Spearfish, before moving into a doubles tournament in the afternoon.