Girls tennis: Mustangs force Stillwater to share conference crown

Gazette photos by Stuart Groskreutz
Playing at second doubles, Stillwater’s Hannah Quinn stretches for a volley during Thursday’s Suburban East Conference match against Mounds View at Stillwater Area High School.

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — The Stillwater girls’ tennis team was upended in its Suburban East Conference finale on Thursday, but did not have to settle for a consolation prize after already securing a share of the conference championship.

Mounds View (8-1 SEC), which lost earlier this season, defeated the Ponies 5-2 to earn a share of the SEC title. The setback snapped a 10-match winning streak for Stillwater (8-1, 11-2) dating back to Aug. 27.

“It was a great match, just not the outcome we wanted,” Ponies coach Dave Kahl said.

Ponies first singles player Natalie Phippen returns a shot against No. 2 ranked Summer Brills of Mounds View during Thursday’s SEC match

The teams were tied 2-all after four matches had been decided and each of the remaining three went to three sets, although Mounds View prevailed in each.

No. 2-ranked Summer Brills of Mounds View outlasted Natalie Phippen 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in one of those three-setters at first singles — a match that featured sterling play on both sides.

Stillwater also fell in three sets at second and third doubles. Annie DeWitt and Kenzie Anderson of Mounds View held off Hannah Quinn and Shelby Ahrendt 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 at second doubles and Lexie Pfenning and Mandy Huang turned back Maggie Corman and Jackie Ellingson 6-1, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4 at third doubles.

“We had lost the first set at first singles and second and third doubles, but battled back to win the second sets in all of them,” Kahl said. “It was a great, high-level match at first singles and she and Natalie battled back and forth, but Brills was a little more consistent at the end.

“We were still in close third sets at second and third doubles and it was back and forth throughout the third set at both. Though we saved a couple of matches points at third doubles, eventually they got us there and then also at second doubles.”

The Ponies claimed the first two matches that finished, with Aliza Deming defeating Emma Bartells 6-2, 6-1 at third singles and Jenna Sherrick followed with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Catie Meinen at fourth singles.

“Aliza and Jenna continued their strong play,” Kahl said.

Mounds View, however, answered with a win by Kourtney Jakubic over Savannah Johnson 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2 singles and a 7-5, 6-2 victory by first doubles team Paige Thayer and Mari Cartwright over Robbie Ellingson and Shelby Anderson.

n Stillwater won two of three exhibition matches on Thursday. The teams of Emma Germundson-Elizabeth Quinn and Emily Frenchik-Clara Ilkka prevailed while Amanda Williams and Remi Larson lost their doubles match.

n The Ponies have received the No. 1 seed for the Section 4AA tournament and will face either eighth-seeded Woodbury or ninth-seeded St. Paul Central in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. The other top four seeds include defending section champion Mahtomedi, Roseville and East Ridge.


Mounds View 5, Stillwater 2


No. 1 — Summer Brills (MV) def. Natalie Phippen, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

No. 2 — Kourtney Jakubic (MV) def. Savannah Johnson, 6-3, 6-3.

No. 3 — Aliza Deming (St) def. Emma Bartels, 6-2, 6-1.

No. 4 — Jenna Sherrick (St) def. Catie Meinen, 6-3, 6-1.


No. 1 — Paige Thayer-Mari Cartwright (MV) def. Robbie Ellingson-Shelby Anderson, 7-5, 6-2.

No. 2 — Annie DeWitt-Kenzie Anderson (MV) def. Hannah Quinn-Shelby Ahrendt, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.

No. 3 — Lexie Pfenning-Mandy Huang (MV) def. Maggie Corman-Jackie Ellingson, 6-1, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4.