Mahtomedi tennis made a strong showing at the Duluth East Invitational on Saturday, defeating three traditionally strong Class AA teams — St. Cloud Tech 6-1, Duluth East 4-3, and Elk River 5-2.

“A really good day of tennis for us, going 3-0 against some great competition,” coach Aaron Freer said.

Mahtomedi is 6-1 and ranked No. 8 in Class 2A.

Against Tech, eighth-grader Annika Munson beat No. 8 ranked junior AshleyTarrolly 6-1, 6-4. Kayla Meslow made her varsity debut, teaming with Alayna Schwieters for a 3-doubles win, part of a doubles sweep by the Zephyrs. Liv Kent won in her first singles match of the season at No. 4. Mari Meger lost to unbeaten Natalie Peterson at 3-singles while showing “grit and determination” that would serve her well the rest of the day.


Against Duluth East, the Greyhounds took 1-doubles, the Zephyrs got a win from Hanna Bradt and Campbell Albers at 3-doubles, and Meger won 7-5, 6-0 at 4-singles for a 2-1 lead. Duluth East pulled even with their 2-doubles team prevailing.

Elena Carlson, Zephyr senior usually at 1-doubles, rallied to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 in her first singles match of the season, at No. 3, to regain a 3-2 lead. It was 3-3 after the Greyhounds’ Alli Hietala topped Lauren Splett 6-3, 6-1 at 1-singles, a duel of longtime USTA rivals.

That left it up to No. 2 singles, where Annika Munson breezed 6-0, 6-1.

The Zephyrs closed against No. 7 ranked Elk River (12-2), which had edged both East and Tech by 4-3.

That match was tied 1-1 before Zephyr freshmen Meger and Sonya Potthoff both bounced back from first-set losses to win the next two sets at No. 3 and 4 singles. “Meger and Potthoff showed tremendous resilience, determination and a never-quit attitude,” Freer said, adding that he and assistant Caitlyn Merzbacher were “a mess of nerves” but the players stayed calm.

The match score was 3-2 before Munson got the clincher at 1-singles and Splett and Sarah Hoffman closed with a three-set win at 1-doubles. The first point came from Carlson and Annika Hillstrom at 2-doubles.

Freer said one of the tourney goals was to give all 14 varsity players at least one match, which they did.

The Zephyrs will host No. 3 ranked Mounds View on Monday, 4 p.m.

Zephyrs 6, St. Cloud Tech 1

Singles — (1) Annika Munson, M, def. Ashley Tarrolly 6-1, 6-4 (2) Lauren Splett, M, def. Kate Inderieden 6-3, 6-3 (3) Natalie Peterson, SCT, def. Mari Meger 6-2, 7-5 (4) Liv Kent, M, def. Ella Marohl 6-2, 6-2

Doubles — (1) Elena Carlson/Sarah Hoffman, M, def. Leah Donnelly/Kylie Starren 6-4, 6-3 (2) Chloe Irvine/Annika Hillstrom, M, def. Chloe Woodman/Maddie Dahnke 6-0, 6-1 (3) Alayna Schwieters/Kayla Meslow, M, def. Anna Miller 6-1, 6-2

Zephyrs 4, Duluth East 3

Singles — (1) Aili Hietala, DE, def. Lauren Splett 6-3, 6-1 (2) Annika Munson, M, def. Catherine Karakas 6-0, 6-1 (3) Elena Carlson, M, def. Cursta Dimberio 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 (4) Mari Meger, M, def. Elley Graysmark 7-5, 6-0

Doubles — (1) Shay Callaway/Maggie Payette, DE, def. Sarah Hoffman/Annika Hillstrom 6-0, 6-0 (2) Annabelle Humphreys/Saijal Vacek, DE, def. Liv Kent/Chloe Irvine 6-2, 6-4 (3) Hannah Bradt/Campbell Albers, M, def. Greta Anderson/Ally Johnson 6-2, 6-1

Zephyrs 5, Elk River 2

Singles — (1) Annika Munson, M, def. Emma Anderson 6-2, 6-2 (2) Lydia Haack, ER, def. Liv Kent 6-2, 6-0 (3) Mari Meger, M, def. Ava Nelson 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 (4) Sonya Potthoff, M, def. Leah Skogquist-Berg 4-6, 6-4, 6-2

Doubles — (1) Lauren Splett/Sarah Hoffman, M, def. Paige Anderson/Lauren Conzet 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 (2) Annika Hillstrom/Elena Carlson, M, def. Olivia Grev/Kate Perbix 6-2, 6-2 (3) Abby Johnson/Alexa Engebretson, ER, def. Kate Hoffman/Alayna Schwieters 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

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