Woodbury girls tennis: Royals beat Highland Park, showdown with East Ridge set
The Woodbury girls tennis team found itself in the meat grinder this past week as it faced off with three of the best teams in the Suburban East Conference and one very tough non-conference team in a four-day span.
While the varsity went 0-4 in matches against Mahtomedi, Forest Lake, Stillwater and Mounds View, the Royals’ JV team was 4-0 and finished the year undefeated.
On Sept. 23, Woodbury fell 5-2 to section foe Mahtomedi.
The Royals senior captains Katie Kreibich and Taylor Monkman won at No. 1 doubles
“Katie and Taylor were playing determined doubles and it was great to see,” Woodbury head coach Michael Moran said.
Moran said he believed Kreibich and Monkman should find themselves with a great seed in the section tournament with the win over Mahtomedi.
“The girls really want to play doubles together for sections,” Moran said. “If they continue to improve and continue to have confidence, they will be a tough team to beat.”
Mackenzie Schurhamer earned the other win for the Royals at No. 2 singles. Schurhamer, a freshman, won in a super-tiebreaker in place of the third set.
“It was encouraging to see Mac come through in the tiebreaker,” Moran said. “Even when she dropped a set, she was still playing well and having success.”
The following day, Woodbury fell 7-0 to conference champion Forest Lake, which was unbeaten on the year.
“We tried to mix up the lineup and steal a team win from them but they were too tough,” Moran said.
Forest Lake is led by 11 seniors all of whom can play and play well, according to Moran.
“I was proud of my team; they had an amazing attitude towards the 'new' lineup,” Moran said.
On Sept. 25, Woodbury fell 5-2 at Stillwater.
Kreibich and Monkman continued their winning streak at No. 1 doubles winning in impressive fashion while sophomore Brooke Hays won at third singles in straight sets.
“Brooke has a style of tennis that quickly frustrates her opponents,” Moran said. “The girls on the team have nicknamed her 'The Brooklyn Wall.' She just consistently gets everything back.”
On Thursday, Woodbury fell 4-3 on the road to perennial power Mounds View.
The Royals doubles teams all played to their potential on Thursday, according to Moran, and all three teams won in impressive fashion. Monkman and Kreibich won at first doubles in straight sets. Greta Eisenrich and Claire Proesch won at No. 2 doubles closing the door winning a second set tiebreaker and the No. 3 doubles team of Angie Drehmel and Ellie Kreibich won in straight sets.
“Angie and Ellie were all smiles out there,” Moran said. “On a couple occasions while talking with them they would say how much fun they were having. As a coach, you want your players to do well and play hard but having fun is a must.”
The Woodbury junior varsity tennis team beat Mounds View 4-3 to finish its regular season unbeaten. The JV team was led by freshman Jenica Monkman who won at No. 1 singles, and by the freshmen doubles team of Allison Marshall and Scout McCullum who won at No. 1 doubles. The win put the Woodbury JV team in first place in the conference.
The JV team has its conference tournament this Saturday at Stillwater.
“The girls are on a mission,” Moran said. “They want a clean sweep at the tournament – all first place finishes. We have a great shot at doing just that.”
Woodbury earned the fifth seed in the Section 4AA tournament and started section play on Tuesday. The Royals beat 12th seed St. Paul Highland Park 6-1 on Tuesday. The win sets up a match against rival East Ridge on Wednesday. The Raptors – seeded fourth - edged the Royals 4-3 earlier this year. Hill-Murray is the top seed in Section 4AA. Mahtomedi is No. 2 and Stillwater is No. 3.
“I told Jon (East Ridge head coach Jon Rydberg) at the seeding meeting that I want a rematch,” Moran said prior to the start of the playoffs. “He said I may just get my wish.”