The Stillwater girls’ tennis team celebrated a successful season and the pending departure of a talented senior group on Sunday at its postseason awards banquet.
Seniors Natalie Phippen and Shelby Ahrendt were co-recipients of the Most Valuable Player award after helping the Ponies to a 17-3 record, including 8-1 to tie
Mounds View for the Suburban East Conference championship. The Ponies also won the Section 4AA title before placing fifth at the state tournament. After losing to Mounds View in their SEC finale, the Ponies reversed that with a 4-3 victory over the Mustangs in the consolation finals.
Phippen was joined in earning all-conference honors by teammates Savannah Johnson, Aliza Deming and Jenna Sherrick while Ahrendt and Shelby Anderson, Robbie Ellingson and Hannah Quinn all-conference honorable mention selections.
Senior Maggie Corman was this year’s recipient of the Chuck Anderson Scholarship Award in honor of the popular former coach and captains for the 2013 squad will be Deming, Quinn, Sherrick and Amanda Williams.
Johnson and Deming won the Section 4AA doubles title while Phippen advanced to state in singles and placed fourth to cap a remarkable prep career.
Phippen is a six-time all-conference performer who after playing third singles as a seventh-grader — on a team that qualified for state — and second singles as an eighth-grader behind current University of Minnesota player Pauline Gilbert.
Phippen qualified for four state tournaments as an individual (once in doubles) and won a total of 129 varsity matches — which is almost certainly the most in school history. She was a three-year captain a three-time MVP.
“Many coaches go their entire career without having a chance to work with a player of Natalie’s caliber,” Ponies coach Dave Kahl said. “And for all of her individual success, it should be noted that the team does not have nearly the same level of success without Natalie leading our lineup for all these years.”
All-Conference: Natalie Phippen, Savannah Johnson, Aliza Deming and Jenna Sherrick; All-Conference Honorable Mention: Shelby Anderson, Robbie Ellingson, Hannah Quinn and Shelby Ahrendt; State qualifiers: Natalie Phippen, Savannah Johnson and Aliza Deming; All-State: Natalie Phippen; Chuck Anderson Scholarship Award: Maggie Corman; Most Valuable Player(s): Natalie Phippen and Shelby Ahrendt; Captains elect: Aliza Deming, Hannah Quinn, Jenna Sherrick and Amanda Williams.