Oct. 5—SIOUX FALLS — The Mitchell High School girls tennis team defends its state title, crowning them Class A state champions for the third straight year.
The Kernels won three singles titles and two doubles titles, successfully holding off Rapid City Christian to complete their three-peat at McKennan Park and Kuehn Park in Sioux Falls. Mitchell finished with 499.5 points, while the Comets came in second with 408 points.
It is the most team points Mitchell has scored in its run of state titles, and the largest margin of the three championships as well, winning 2019's title by eight points, then by 59 in 2020 before a 91.5-point margin in 2021. The Kernels have won all three Class A girls team tennis titles since the split into two classes for the 2019 season.
Julia Platt defended her Flight 4 state title from last season by winning in straight sets in the semifinals and championship. She took down Huron's Bethany Engelhart in the semifinals 6-3, 6-1 and beat St. Thomas More's Katelyn Denholm 6-2, 6-3 in the championship.
Sydney Reynolds earned Mitchell's second singles title, beating Huron's Say Ma in the semifinal 6-2, 7-5 and taking down Pierre's Caitlin Ott in the Flight 5 championship 6-0, 6-2.
Megan Mastel, who plays at Flight 6 singles, won both the semifinals and championship convincingly. She beat Pierre's Carissa Ott 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals and rolled past Yankton's Paige Mitzel in the championship 6-0, 6-1.
Olivia Huber, who was looking for her own individual three-peat at the Class A state tournament, finished runner-up in the Flight 2 singles. She took down Pierre's Marlee Shorter 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinal round, but lost a three-set match to Yankton's Nora Krajewski 4-6, 7-5, 6-0.
Flight 1 singles player Atlanta Stahle won the third-place matchup over Milbank's Hattie Muellenbach 10-2. This came after she lost the semifinal round to Yankton's Maggie Schaefer 6-3, 6-1.
In Flight 3 singles, Amber Moller was one set away from advancing to the championship. She lost to Rapid City Christian's Zeah Ryherd 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, but earned a third-place finish with a 10-5 win over Lennox's Madison Johnson.
As for doubles play, Mitchell came out on top in Flight 2 and 3. In Flight 1, Stahle and Huber lost to Rapid City Christian's Ella Hancock and Hannah Beckloff 6-0, 6-0. Mitchell bounced back in the third-place finals, taking down Pierre's Sydney Tedrow and Kara Weiss 10-5.
In Flight 3 doubles, Mastel and Degen beat Huron's Say May and Ann Hoek in straight sets 6-2, 6-0. They went on to win the championship over Rapid City Christian's Ryherd and Allison Hill 6-4, 6-1.
Moller and Reynolds rolled past Huron's Bianca Medina and Bethany Engelhart in the Flight 2 doubles semifinals 6-2, 6-1. In the championship round against St. Thomas More's Sylvie Mortimer and Katelyn Denholm, Mitchell came out victorious winning 6-1, 6-4.
Class A state girls tennis tournament
Final results — Monday-Tuesday in Sioux Falls
Team scores: 1. Mitchell 499.5, 2. Rapid City Christian 408, 3. Yankton 406.5, 4. Pierre 289, 5. St. Thomas More 249.5, 6. Huron 195, 7. Vermillion 156.5, 8. Aberdeen Roncalli 104, 9. Lennox 99.5, 10. Madison 86, 11. Milbank 79.5, 12. Sioux Falls Christian 76.5, 13. Spearfish 69.5.
Mitchell individual results
Flight 1 — No. 3 seed Atlanta Stahle: First round: bye. Quarterfinals: Stahle def. No. 6 Athena Franciliso (STM), 6-2, 6-1. Semifinals: No. 2 Maggie Schaefer (YAN) def. Stahle, 6-3, 6-1. Third place: Stahle def. No. 4 Hattie Muellenbach (MIL), 10-2.
Flight 2 — No. 2 seed Olivia Huber: First round: bye. Quarterfinals: Huber def. No. 7 Savanah Shipley (MAD), 6-2, 6-1. Semifinals: Huber def. No. 3 Marlee Shorter (PIE), 6-3, 6-3. Championship: No. 1 Nora Krajewski (YAN) def. Huber, 4-6, 7-5, 6-0.
Flight 3 — No. 2 seed Amber Moller: First round: bye. Quarterfinals: Moller def. No. 7 Sophia Meyer (STM), 6-3, 2-6, 10-7. Semifinals: No. 3 Zeah Ryherd (RCH) def. Moller, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Third place: Moller def. No. 5 Madison Johnson (LEN), 10-5.
Flight 4 — No. 1 seed Julia Platt: First round: bye. Quarterfinals: Platt def. No. 9 Marion Mischel (MIL), 6-0, 6-1. Semifinals: Platt def. No. 5 Bethany Englehurt (HUR), 6-0, 6-1. Championship: Platt def. No. 3 Katelyn Denholm (STM), 6-2, 6-3.
Flight 5 — No. 1 seed Sydney Reynolds: First round: bye. Quarterfinals: Reynolds def. No. 9 Mya Halverson (VER), 6-1, 6-3. Semifinals: Reynolds def. No. 4 Say Ma (HUR), 6-2, 7-5. Championship: Reynolds def. No. 6 Caitlin Ott (PIE), 6-0, 6-2.
Flight 6 — No. 1 seed Megan Mastel: First round: bye. Quarterfinals: Mastel def. No. 8 Madison Buehner (LEN), 6-0, 6-2. Semifinals: Mastel def. No. 5 Carissa Ott (PIE), 6-2, 6-0. Championship: Mastel def. No. 6 Paige Mitzel (YAN), 6-0, 6-1.
Flight 1 — No. 3 seed Atlanta Stahle and Olivia Huber: First round: bye. Quarterfinals: Stahle/Huber def. No. 6 Emma Jury and Annika Barnett (VER), 6-0, 6-0. Semifinals: No. 2 Hancock/Beckloff (RCH) def. Stahle/Huber, 6-0, 6-0; Third place: Stahle/Huber def. Tedrow/Weiss (PIE), 10-5.
Flight 2 — No. 1 seed Amber Moller and Sydney Reynolds: First round: bye. Quarterfinals: Moller/Reynolds def. No. 9 Ciera Crawford and Riley Geyer (RCH), 6-1, 6-1. Semifinals: Moller/Reynolds def. No. 5 Medina/Engelhart (HUR), 6-1, 6-4. Championship: Moller/Reynolds def. No. 6 Mortimer/Denholm (STM), 6-1, 6-4.
Flight 3 — No. 1 seed Megan Mastel and Delaney Degen: First round: bye. Quarterfinals: Mastel/Degen def. No. 9 Saige Jorgensen and Mya Halverson (VER), 6-0, 6-1. Semifinals: Mastel/Degen def. No. 4 Ma/Hoek (HUR), 6-2, 6-0; Championship: Mastel/Degen def. No. 3 Ryherd/Hill (RCH), 6-4, 6-1.