Two of the state's best Class 2A girls' tennis teams, Minnetonka and Rochester Mayo, squared off last week, and neither played its best players in their usual places. Expect that to change when section tournament play begins soon.
Defending state champion Minnetonka prevailed 4-3 on Wednesday after beating the Spartans 5-2 earlier this season in the Edina Invitational. The Skippers moved senior Sarah Shahbaz, the defending singles state champion, to No. 1 doubles for the dual meet. Minnetonka's No. 2 singles player, Kelsey Phillips, wasn't in the lineup at all.
Rochester Mayo's top singles player, Claire Loftus, also didn't play, because of an injured right wrist. She is expected to return for section play.
In the season's final regular-season rankings, released Monday by the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association, Shahbaz is ranked first and Phillips second in singles. Loftus is tied for fifth with another Minnetonka player, Karina Elvestrom. In the team rankings, Minnetonka is first and Mayo third. Edina is ranked second.
Another ranked player who has been absent because of injury, Minnehaha Academy's Greta Johnson, also is expected to return for the section matches. She is ranked third in Class 1A.
GIRLS' TENNIS STATE RANKINGS
By the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association
Teams: 1. Minnetonka; 2. Edina; 3. Rochester Mayo; 4. (tie) Elk River and Maple Grove; 6. Lakeville South; 7. Eden Prairie; 8. Blake; 9. Benilde-St. Margaret's; 10. (tie) Mounds View, Roseville and Wayzata.
Individuals: 1. Sarah Shahbaz, Minnetonka; 2. Kelsey Phillips, Minnetonka; 3. Cassandra Li, Eagan; 4. Ava Nelson, Elk River; 5. (tie) Karina Elvestrom, Minnetonka, and Claire Loftus, Rochester Mayo; 7. Kiera Kelly, Lakeville North; 8. (tie) Lillian Allen, Shakopee, and Lucy Nabedrick, Wayzata; 10. (tie) Alex Repplier, Champlin Park, and Katerina Smiricinschi, Mounds View.
Teams: 1. Breck; 2. Rochester Lourdes; 3 Pine City; 4. Litchfield; 5. (tie) New London-Spicer and St. James; 7. Osakis; 8. Staples-Motley; 9. Crookston; 10. Holy Family.
Individuals: 1. Isabelle Einess, Breck; 2. Ryann Witter, Rochester Lourdes; 3. Greta Johnson, Minnehaha Academy; 4. Ella Sell, Pine City; 5. Leah Maddock, Osakis; 6. Lauren Rutten, Staples-Motley; 7. Ryanna Steinhaus, Litchfield; 8. Chloe Brandt, LeSueur-Henderson; 9. Casey Cronin, Holy Family; 10. Halle Winjun, Crookston.