Woodbury girls tennis: Royals earn tournament crownFollowing a pair of losses deemed “frustrating” by head coach Derek Otto, the Woodbury girls tennis team rebounded to win the fourth-annual Royal Raptor Invitational last week.
By: Patrick Johnson, sports editor, Woodbury Bulletin
Following a pair of losses deemed “frustrating” by head coach Derek Otto, the Woodbury girls tennis team rebounded to win the fourth-annual Royal Raptor Invitational last week.
“I was very proud of the team’s results today,” Otto said. “They’ve been working hard in practice and competing well day in and day out. The scoreboard hasn’t always been reflected their high level of competiveness, so it’s great to see the hard work rewarded with a big team victory.”
To start the week, Woodbury lost a nail-biter, 4-3, to Cretin-Derham Hall in a Suburban East Conference match in St. Paul, then fell to the rival Raptors 6-1 at East Ridge. However, Woodbury ended the week on a high note, winning the eight-team Royal Raptor Tournament on Saturday at East Ridge.
The Royals had four tournament champions – and no player finished lower than fifth, giving Woodbury a 2.5 average finish. East Ridge took second place with a 3.125 average finish. The other teams competing were: South St. Paul, Hill-Murray, Chisago Lakes, Spring Lake Park, River Falls and Pine City.
Highlighting the victory was Taylor Monkman’s championship win at second singles. Monkman, a junior, started the match with what Otto called “a clutch performance” in a long, 2 1/2 -hour match. Playing Chisago Lakes in the first round she fought off multiple match points when down 4-5 in the second set before eventually earning an impressive, come from behind, 2-6, 7-5, 10-1 victory. Then, after cruising through her second round match she would find herself down a set again before earning the 2-6, 7-6 (3), 10-2 win over East Ridge’s Nicole Robinson en route to a being the tournament champion at the No. 2 spot.
“I was thrilled for Taylor to get the opening round victory after fending off several match points,” Otto said. “Then, to see her make the most of that effort by going on to rally for a first place finish in defeating Nicole was special. Today should serve as a huge confidence builder for her as we go into the second half of our season.”
In addition to Monkman’s win, Woodbury freshman Brooke Hays won the championship at fourth-singles, while juniors Greta Eisenrich and Lisa Blaut won the championship at third doubles and senior Patty Maglalang and sophomore Rachael Herold-Plakut won the championship at fourth doubles.
In other matches, senior Yssa Yasis and junior Shanna Stevenson finished in third place at first doubles, junior Katie Kreibich earned fourth place at first singles, sophomore Claire Proesch and junior Angela Drehmel took fourth at second doubles and eighth grader Mackenzie Schurhamer earned fifth place at third singles.
Woodbury was back in search of a win in the Suburban East Conference on Tuesday, after the Bulletin went to press. Next, the Royals play host to Mounds View on Thursday, Sept. 20.