Minnetonka captures Class AA Girls Tennis crown
Posted: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 6:40 PM
Top-ranked Minnetonka completed a high school season of dominance with a 6-1 victory over Blake in the championship match of the Class AA Girls Tennis State Tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Baseline Tennis Center on the University of Minnesota campus. It was the first girls tennis championship for the Skippers since 1975 when Minnetonka won the second of two consecutive crowns.
Minnetonka captured the first-ever Minnesota State High School League championship a year earlier, the first season that girls tennis was sanctioned. Just two years prior, Title IX legislation was passed that paved the way for increased opportunities for female participants in co-curricular activities. This school year, the 50th year of Title IX is being celebrated across the nation.
Minnetonka finished the season 21-0 in dual matches and hasn’t lost since a setback to Edina in the Class AA championship match in 2019. The Skippers had hopes of ending the state championship drought last year when they were the favorite to do so, but the state tournament was cancelled amid a global pandemic. This season, Minnetonka rolled through the competition, and just twice, opponents came within 5-2 in a final score.
In their final match of the 2021 season, the Skippers left little doubt they had a championship on their minds.
Junior Sarah Shahbaz got things started with the first result of the championship match, a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Blake senior Bella Suk at No. 1 singles. It quickly became 2-0 when sophomore Alexa Cummiings and junior Arianna Piedrahita recorded a 6-0, 6-0 over Blake junior Andrey Anderson and Lily Lu at No. 3 doubles. Minnetonka would clinch the championship with a 6-0, 6-1 victory from junior Kelsey Phillips and sophomore Karina Elvestrom over Blake junior Ellie Nixon and senior Annabelle Swigert at No. 1 doubles.
En route to the big-school championship, Minnetonka had a 7-0 victory over Simley in Tuesday’s quarterfinals, and earlier Wednesday, a 7-0 victory over Mounds View in the semifinals.
Mounds View bounced back to record a 5-2 victory over Rochester Mayo in the third place match, while Maple Grove had a 4-3 victory over Elk River in the consolation final.
Minnetonka 6, Blake 1
No. 1 --- Sarah Shahbaz, Minnetonka def. Bella Suk, 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 --- Annika Alvestrom, Minnetonka def. Allyson Jay, 6-1, 6-0. No. 3 --- Nana Vang, Blake def. Meghan Jurgens, 6-1, 6-0. No. 4 --- Kate Feist, Minnetonka def. Fatemeh Vang, 6-1, 6-4.
No. 1 --- Kelsey Phillips-Karina Elvestrom, Minnetonka def. Ellie Nixon-Annabelle Swigert, 6-1, 6-0. No. 2 --- Emilija Medzuikaite-Maddie Prondzinski Minnetonka def. Lily Anderson-Nina Bush, 6-0, 6-1. No. 3 --- Alexa Cummings-Arianna Piedrahita, Minnetonka def. Audrey Anderson-Lily Liu, 6-0, 6-0.