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Kernels win two singles matches to start state

RAPID CITY—The Mitchell High School girls tennis team battled high winds on Wednesday as it began the South Dakota High School girls tennis state tournament. Two Kernels advanced to the quarterfinals in singles play.

"I'm not disappointed with the way any of our girls played," MHS head coach Pat Moller said. "We just didn't play well enough to win."

Mitchell's two wins came from Madison Bohlen in Flight 3 and Olivia Huber, who won in straight sets over Harrisburg's Maddie Grabow in Flight 6 to advance to the quarterfinals.

"(Huber) handled the windy conditions really well," Moller said. "She played within herself and did what she needed to do to win."

Kiersten Bathke had Mitchell's other win of the day as she won her first round match in Flight 4 for Mitchell but fell in the second round.

No. 1 singles player Avery Larson was swept by Peyton Fomey, of Rapid City Stevens, and Kelsey Dahme dropped a first-set tiebreak en route to falling to Annabelle Schultz, of Brandon Valley, in Flight 2. Atlanta Stahle couldn't get a win in her lone match of the day in Flight 5.

Despite only two players advancing to the quarterfinals, Moller didn't think his girls could have played much better.

"I can't look back at any one of our matches and say, 'if we would have done something that we've doing all year,' " Moller said. "I thought we played well but we just played against some players that really elevated their games."

The state tournament continues today with singles play in the morning if the courts are dry, though Moller expects doubles play to start on the indoor courts once it starts raining.

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