Woodbury girls tennis: Royals take out Harding before falling to StillwaterAside from this week’s individual section tournament, the Woodbury girls tennis team’s season came to a close with a 6-1 loss to top-seeded Stillwater in the quarterfinals of the Section 4AA tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Stillwater.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
Aside from this week’s individual section tournament, the Woodbury girls tennis team’s season came to a close with a 6-1 loss to top-seeded Stillwater in the quarterfinals of the Section 4AA tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Stillwater.
Ninth-seeded Woodbury proved its substance, however, beating eighth-seeded St. Paul Harding on Monday, Oct. 3, in the tournament’s second round after earning a first-round bye.
In the convincing win over Harding, the Royals swept doubles play and earned two singles victories.
Woodbury junior Kaitlyn Shea won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles and senior Rae Zellmer won 6-1, 6-1 at fourth singles. In doubles play, the No. 1 duo of senior Rachel Eisenrich and sophomore Shanna Stevenson won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles, senior Kristin Chu and sophomore Taylor Monkman won 6-4, 6-3 at second doubles and sophomore Katie Kreibich and Yssa Yasis won 6-3, 6-1 at third doubles.
Six weeks ago, Woodbury fell 4-3 to the same Harding squad.
“It was impressive to see just how much progress has been made over the course of the season, especially in the doubles lineup where we dominated the action despite being swept in the meeting earlier this season,” Otto said. "As a coach, you love to see the progress from day to day and week to week over the course of the season and I think that focus is something that some of our girls have really embraced and it showed out there on the courts.”
In the loss to Stillwater, the duo of Lundberg and Kreibich earned a win at third doubles.
“Happy to see us get the win there despite our usual third doubles anchor, Yssa Yasis out due to injury,” Otto said. “Anna did a great job of stepping in and picking up exactly where Yssa left off. That’s why those exhibition matches we play all season are so important and why we carry more than 10 girls on our varsity team, so that when someone goes out with an injury those players can step in and pick us up right where the other left off without missing a beat. Both girls were imposing fixtures at the net, which is so critical, especially against tough teams like Stillwater.”
Additionally, Hannah Robbins duked it out with the player likely to be named top-seeded singles player in the individual section tournament and former state qualifier, in Natalie Phippin, at No. 1 singles, falling 6-1, 6-3.
“The match was an impressive improvement over her 0-6, 0-6 score when they met earlier in the season and should give Hannah a lot of confidence going into the individual tournament next Thursday,” Otto said.
Otto said, like in the Harding match earlier in the week, the rematches of earlier matchups against Stillwater showed “significant improvement since early in the year.”
“We’ve talked about the Arthur Ashe quote ‘Starting where you are, using what you have, doing what you can’ and I think this team did a great job of that this season,” Otto said. “This team is filled with fighters who have repeatedly battled with confidence against great competition and as a result we didn’t miss many opportunities this year to improve and get better. As a coach, seeing your players give everything they’ve got day-in and day-out as they focus on just that, getting better, is a lot of fun.”