By STUART GROSKREUTZ
ST. PAUL – The season ended on Friday for members of the Stillwater boys’ tennis team who were competing in the Section 4AA individual tournament.
Singles player Colton Anderson and doubles team Mitchell Johnson and Nick Rheinberger advanced to the quarterfinals before getting stopped to finish with a 2-1 record in the tournament.
"I thought the guys played really well," Ponies coach Dave Kahl said. "Though no one will advance to the individual state tourney, the players really represented the Ponies well."
Anderson, who was the No. 8 seed, cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Taylor Fleischman of St. Paul Highland Park in the first round and advanced with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Mahtomedi’s Ryan Meger in the second round. Top-seeded Nathan Tretsven of North St. Paul, however, stopped Anderson 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) in the quarterfinals.
"That was a very good, close match," Kahl said. "Colton had a really good shot at winning that match."
Stillwater’s other singles entry Sam Stiff was also stopped by a high seed as No. 2 Maalik Konop-DeFreitas of St. Paul Highland Park defeated him 6-1, 6-1 in the second round. Stiff opened with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Mahtomedi’s Zach Plooster.
"Sam played really well against one of Mahtomedi’s singles players before dropping to DeFreitas in a very well played match, even though the score didn’t look that close," Kahl said.
Competing in doubles, Stillwater’s Mitch Johnson and Nick Rheinberger defeated teams from St. Paul Highland Park and St. Paul Como Park in the first two rounds before suffering a 6-0, 6-3 setback against second-seeded Greg Madden and Ross Stecklein of Roseville in the quarterfinals.
Scott Xiong and Max Wilkinson pushed Hill-Murray doubles team Grant Eicher and Cameron Hager to three sets before falling 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the opening round. The Stillwater tandem trailed 5-1 in the third set and had an opportunity to tie he set at 5-all before Eicher and Hager converted on match point.
"That was a very exciting match," Kahl said.
#8 Colton Anderson (2-1): def. Taylor Fleischman (SPHP) 6-0, 6-1; def. Ryan Meger (Mah) 6-0, 6-4; lost to #1 Nathan Tretsven (NSP) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
Sam Stiff (1-1): def. Zach Plooster (Mah) 6-4, 6-2; lost to #2 Maalik Konop-DeFreitas (SPHP) 6-1, 6-1.
Mitchell Johnson-Nick Rheinberger (2-1): def. Aidan Coleman-Cooper Olson (SPHP) 6-4, 6-2; def. #7 Kou Xiong-Kevin Muehlbauer (SPCP) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1; lost to #2 Greg Madden-Ross Stecklein (Ros) 6-0, 6-3.
Scott Xiong-Max Wilkinson (0-1): lost to Grant Eicher-Cameron Hager (H-M) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.