Girls tennis: Ponies prevail at Hibbing Invitational

 

HIBBING — Despite placing first at just one of seven positions, the Stillwater girls’ tennis team ended up third or better in all but one of the brackets to collect a victory at Saturday’s eight-team Hibbing Invitational.

The Ponies (5-0 SEC, 8-1) totaled 27 points to outdistance runner-up Eveleth-Gilbert (23). The competition was tight as just four points separated third-place Bemidji (16) from Duluth East and Hibbing, which tied for seventh with 12 points.

“We had a very fun weekend up at Hibbing,” Ponies coach Dave Kahl said. “It was beautiful weather and really good tennis. Eight really solid teams made it really good competition.”

Stillwater’s lone victory came at No. 2 doubles where Hannah Quinn and Shelby Ahrendt survived a three-setter in the semifinals before knocking off Bemidji’s Alexis Konecne and Megan Serratore 6-3, 5-7, (10-3) in the finals. The Ponies duo outlasted Morgan Bellefy and Megan Ritter of Grand Rapids/Greenway 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (7-4) in the semifinals.

First singles player Natalie Phippen suffered her first loss of the season while losing in the finals to Lauren Williams of Totino-Grace by the score of 7-5, 6-3. Phippen had not dropped a set this season until advancing with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Bemidji’s Jessica Solberg in the semifinals.

The Ponies used Robbie Ellingson, Emily Frenchik and Clara Ilkka to finish second at fourth singles and also received a runner-up showing from Savannah Johnson and Aliza Deming at first doubles. The only loss for Johnson and Deming came in the finals against Taylor Kane and Kenzie Kane of Grand Rapids/Greenway by the score of 7-5, 7-5.

Jenna Sherrick finished third at No. 3 singles, cruising past Janelle Shea of Hibbing 6-1, 6-0 in her final match of the tourney, while the Ponies had three different teams combine to place third at No. 3 doubles.

Playing at second singles, Shelby Anderson bounced back from consecutive losses to defeat Maria Stampohar of Grand Rapids/Greenway 6-2, 6-1 in the seventh-place match.

 

Team standings

1. Stillwater 27; 2. Eveleth-Gilbert 23; 3. Bemidji 16; 4. Grand Rapids/Greenway 16; 5. Totino-Grace 14; 6. Virginia 13; 7, tie, Duluth East 12 and Hibbing 12.

 

Stillwater results

Singles

No. 1 — Natalie Phippen (2-1, 2nd place): def. Katelyn Rice (E-G) 6-1, 7-5; def. Jessica Solberg (Bem) 6-1, 3-6, 6-4; lost to Lauren Williams (T-G) 7-5, 6-3.

No. 2 — Shelby Anderson (1-2, 7th place): lost to Nicole Blagove (Hib) 7-6, 6-4; lost to Allie Koes (T-G) 6-4, 6-7, 6-4; def. Maria Stampohar (GR/G) 6-2, 6-1.

No. 3 — Jenna Sherrick (2-1, 3rd place): def. Megan Dulong (GR/G) 6-2, 6-0; lost to Aimee Allen (E-G) 6-4, 7-6; def. Janelle Shea (Hib) 6-1, 6-0.

No. 4 — Stillwater (2-1, 2nd place): Robbie Ellingson (St) def. Haley Greenwalt (Vir) 6-2, 6-1; Emily Frenchik (St) def. Kenzie Schultz (Bem) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2; Clara Ilkka (St) lost to Cora Delich (E-G) 6-0, 6-1.

 

Doubles

No. 1 — Savannah Johnson-Aliza Deming (2-1, 2nd place): def. Annika Johnson-Olivia Dickinson (Bem) 6-2, 6-1; def. Tina Matetich-Emily Milani (Hib) 7-6, 3-6, 6-3; lost to Taylor Kane-Kenzie Kane (GR/G) 7-5, 7-5.

No. 2 — Hannah Quinn-Shelby Ahrendt (3-0 1st place): def. Lizzie Cleary-Krystal Huang 6-1, 6-2; def. Morgan Bellefy-Megan Ritter (GR/G) 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (7-4); def. Alexis Konecne-Megan Serratore (Bem) 6-3, 5-7, (10-3).

No. 3 — Stillwater (2-1, 3rd place): Amanda Williams-Jackie Ellingson (St) def. Gates LeSavage-Maeve Marion (DE) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Remi Larson-Maggie Corman (St) lost to Claire Baumgartner-Jenna Lee (Bem) 6-2, 6-4; Elizabeth Quinn-Emma Germundson (St) def. Chelsey Judnick-Ashley Koivenen (E-G) 6-4, 6-4.

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