After competing in a dual meet against Harrisburg where nearly every match went to a tiebreak, Mitchell did not drop a set in a triangular on Tuesday at Hitchcock Park.
The Kernels swept both Vermillion and Rapid City Central, 9-0, to stay unbeaten on the season and did so with little resistance.
Not only did Mitchell (6-0) win all 36 sets it played, but it also gave up more than two games in a set on four occasions.
“The girls are playing good tennis right now and playing with a lot of confidence,” MHS head coach Pat Moller said. “Yet, they are continuing to improve. We played a couple opponents that maybe weren’t at the level we’re at right now, but it’s nice to see us maintain our level and not play down to theirs.”
While it has yet to catch up to them, the Kernels have been plagued by slow starts this season, but in both duals on Tuesday, they came out fast. Mitchell breezed through the first set without surrendering a game 11 times, setting the tone for the remainder of the match.
Kelsey Dahme cruised to a 6-1 win in her first set of the day at No. 1 singles, but Vermillion’s Emma Dahlhoff pushed her in the second, before Dahme won in a tiebreak, 6-1, 7-6(2). Dahme also beat Rapid City Central’s Harper Keim, 6-3, 6-3.
Atlanta Stahle picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win over Vermillion’s Katrina Heles at No. 2 singles, while also beating Central’s Lindsey Pfingston, 6-3, 6-1. Olivia Huber gave up a total of one game at No. 3 singles, while Kiersten Bathke did not surrender a game in back-to-back 6-0, 6-0 wins at No. 4 singles.
Bathke also teamed with Ashley Jones to win two 6-0, 6-0 matches at No. 3 doubles. Amber Moller and Jones both won two matches apiece in straight sets at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively.
“We really focused on getting a good warm-up and being ready to play right away,” Moller said. “The other adjustment we made was starting at singles rather than doubles. I think the girls preferred that and we’re going to continue to try to do that throughout the year.”
Mitchell travels west for the three-day Rapid City Invitational, beginning with a dual against Rapid City Christian and Rapid City Stevens on Thursday and St. Thomas More on Friday, before getting into bracket play.
“We get to see how good we really are,” Moller said. “A 6-0 start is great, but we get to see some real competition this weekend. I just hope we continue to improve our game.”