MINNEAPOLIS — The Stillwater girls’ tennis team advanced to the finals after dispatching fourth-seeded East Ridge 4-3 in Friday’s Section 4AA semifinals at the University of Minnesota Baseline Tennis Center.
The Ponies (14-2), who defeated East Ridge 5-2 earlier this season, clinched the deciding fourth point early enough to save their coach some unwelcome stress while advancing to the finals to face Mahtomedi, a 5-2 winner over Cretin-Derham Hall, for the second year in a row.
“The East Ridge girls really played a nice match, but fortunately for us we came out on top,” Stillwater coach Dave Kahl said. “Also, fortunately for me, we were able to win our four points relatively smoothly, so it made watching the last three tight matches a lot easier.”
The Ponies won in straights sets behind Natalie Phippen, Savannah Johnson and Aliza Deming at first through third singles and also received a point at third doubles with Maggie Corman and Jackie Ellingson topping Audriawna Sturm and Megan Karrow 6-4, 6-2.
Phippen, Johnson and Deming combined to lose just four games in their three victories.
East Ridge collected its only singles victory from Minh-Tu Van over Jenna Sherrick 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 at fourth singles and also pulled out wins at first and second doubles.
n Emily Frenchik of Stillwater defeated Sophie Stark 6-2 in an exhibition singles match on Friday, while Stark defeated Amanda Williams 7-6 (12-10) to earn a split against the Ponies.
Stillwater 4, East Ridge 3
No. 1 — Natalie Phippen (St) def. Maddie Blake, 6-0, 6-1.
No. 2 — Savannah Johnson (St) def. Nicole Robinson, 6-1, 6-2.
No. 3 — Aliza Deming (St) def. Natalie Curdova, 6-0, 6-0.
No. 4 — Minh-Tu Van (ER) def. Jenna Sherrick, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
No. 1 — Natalie Robinson-Taylor Anderson (ER) def. Robbie Ellingson-Shelby Anderson, 6-2, 7-5.
No. 2 — Anna Bearrood-Regan Dolezal (ER) def. Hannah Quinn-Shelby Ahrendt, 7-5, 6-4.
No. 3 — Maggie Corman-Jackie Ellingson (St) def. Audriawna Sturm-Megan Karrow, 6-4, 6-2.