The Mahtomedi tennis team picked up victories in a tournament and two dual meets, while losing to the top-ranked Class A team, in their first two weeks of play, under new coach Aaron Freer.
Blake, whose lineup boasts three of the top four ranked players in Class A, scuttled the Zephyrs 5-2 on Aug. 19.
“(Their singles) proved to be too deep for us,” said Freer. “We headed in thinking it might be 4-3 either way. Our goal was to take two singles matches and two doubles. For our first match, it was a solid effort. I thought we were about 10 games collectively from turning a 2-5 defeat into a 4-3 victory.”
Mari Meger got an injury default win while leading 3-0 at 4-singles, and Alayna Schwieters/Chloe Irvine won 6-2, 3-6, 6-5 at 3-doubles.
In an eight-team tournament at Stillwater to open the season Aug. 16, the Zephyrs scored 36 of a possible 42 points.
Annika Munson, state qualifier as a seventh-grader last year, took second at No. 1 singles, losing to Class A’s No. 2 ranked Clare Palen of Rochester Lourdes. Nabbing singles titles were junior Lauren Splett at No. 2 and freshman Sonya Potthoff at No. 4, each going 3-0. Meger, freshman at 3S, had a loss and two wins to place fifth.
The Zephyrs doubles teams all placed first — seniors Sarah Hoffman and Elena Carlson at No. 1, senior Annika Hillstrom and junior Liv Kent at No. 2, and juniors Hanna Bradt and Schweiters along with 8th-grader Kate Hoffman at No. 3. All went 3-0.
The Zephyrs then defeated a section rival, Stillwater, 6-1, on Aug. 22. “Really solid effort from our top two singles players, Lauren Splett and Annika Munson. They were in control of their matches from the get go and helped instill confidence in the rest of our team.” Also in singles, Meger won a back-and-forth match and junior Hanna Bradt pulled out a 7-6, 7-6 (5) win.
On Tuesday, the Zephyrs knocked Centennial out of the unbeaten ranks 6-1. The Cougars had won their first seven matches. Munson and Splett each won 6-0, 6-0, to lead a singles sweep. In doubles, Carlson/Hoffman at No. 1, and Irvine/Schwieters at No. 3, each lost the first set but bounced back to win the next two.
Next match will be the Metro East Conference opener at South St. Paul on Sept. 5.
Blake 5, Zephyrs 2
Singles — (1) Arlina Shen, B, def. Lauren Splett 6-3, 6-2 (2) Sonia Baig, B, def. Annika Munson 6-2, 6-3 (3) Bella Suk, B, def. Sonya Potthoff 6-0, 6-0 (4) Mari Meger, M, def. Nana Vang 3-0, retired
Doubles — (1) Emily Melin/Caroline Cameron, B, def. Sarah Hoffman/Elena Carlson 6-4, 6-4 (2) Natalie Anderson/Anna Secor, B, def. Annika Hillstrom/Liv Kent 6-2, 7-5 (3) Alayna Schwieters/Chloe Irvine, M, def. Ellie Nixon/Nina Bush 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
Zephyrs 6, Stillwater 1
Singles — (1) Lauren Splett, M, def. Jana Myers 6-3, 6-1 (2) Annika Munson, M, def. Molly Anderson 6-0, 6-1 (3) Mari Meger, M, def. Elizabeth Milker 6-4, 6-3 (4) Hannah Bradt, M, def. Abby Anderson 7-5, 7-6 (5)
Doubles — (1) Sarah Hoffman/Elena Carlson, M, def. Anna Lindeberg/Allison Benning 6-3, 6-1 (2) Catherine Monty/Erin Gallion, S, def. Annika Hillstrom/Chloe Irvine 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 (3) Alayna Schwieters/Liv Kent, M, def. Bryn Wurgler/Mara Doe 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
Zephyrs 6, Centennial 1
Singles — (1) Annika Munson, M, def. Quinn Bliss 6-0, 6-0 (2) Lauren Splett, M, def. Natalie Ennett 6-0, 6-0 (3) Mari Meger, M, def. Claire Peloquin 6-2, 7-6 (6) (4) Sonya Potthoff, M, def. Amsley Greve 6-2, 6-3
Doubles — (1) Elena Carlson/Sarah Hoffman, M, def. Mia Troska/Lauren Couilland 2-6, 6-0, 6-1 (2) Kaitlyn Davis/Chloe Ouren, C, def. Liv Kent/Annika Hillstrom 6-3, 7-6 (4) (3) Chloe Irvine/Alayna Schwieters, M, def. Erin Wiese/Britta Arends 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4