Twenty girls tennis players, including six from Edina and five from Minnetonka, have been named to the All-Lake Conference team for 2019.
It is not surprising to see more than half the selections coming from Edina and Minnetonka, since those were the state champion and runner-up teams at state. Edina defeated the Skippers twice during the regular season, 4-3 and 4-3, and then beat them 5-2 in the state finals. Those were Minnetonka’s only three losses of the season.
Heading Edina’s selections is senior captain Nicole Copeland, who has accepted a scholarship offer to play for Drake University next season. Copeland is one of the most successful players in Edina history, with six varsity letters, five state team championships, two state individual singles titles and one state singles runner-up berth.
After winning state singles honors in her sophomore and junior seasons, Copeland lost to Eastview’s Karin Young 6-4, 6-1 in this year’s state championship match.
Minnetonka’s All-Lake selections are headed by the state Class AA doubles champions, sophomore Annika Elvestrom and ninth-grader Sarah Shahbaz. After playing singles most of the season, the two girls blended well as a doubles team with an 11-0 record. Other All-Lake selections from Minnetonka are junior captains Sarah Bernet and Emily Jurgens and eighth-grader Karina Elvestrom.
Edina’s top doubles team, consisting of senior captains Jessica Ip and Shaylynn Reger, placed third in the State Class AA Tournament doubles draw, earning repeat selections to the All-Lake honor squad..
This was a year young players lifted the caliber of Lake Conference tennis. The 2019 All-Lake squad includes only four seniors - the Edina trio of Copeland, Ip and Reger and captain Madison Magnani from Eden Prairie.
Minnetonka head coach Dave Stearns praised his all-conference players as a group and, individually, as well.
“Annika Elvestrom is a classic doubles player,” he said. “She is one of the best practice players I have worked with, and she’ll be one of our captains next season. Sarah Shahbaz grew a lot as a player this season. She has great racquet-face control, which led to amazing placement.”
Karina Elvestrom, Annika’s younger sister, is the youngest player on the 2019 All-Lake squad.
“She’s an eighth-grader who plays like a junior,” Stearns said. “Karina has all the shots and her biomechanics as solid as anyone’s that I have ever coached.”
Bernet and Jurgens both had outstanding singles records this season. Bernet is the only Skipper who won all three of her matches against Edina. Jurgens, a former Section 2AA individual champion, posted a 15-2 record at third singles.
“Sarah Bernet came a long way this year, playing in a singles line-up that was very tough to make,” Stearns said. “Emily Jurgens is steady and doesn’t make mistakes. She is a player who rises to a challenge.”
Girls Tennis Team
Edina: Seniors Nicole Copeland, Jessica Ip and Shaylynn Reger, juniors Lizzy Van Ert and Ingrid Smith and ninth-grader Sami Hankinson.
Minnetonka: Juniors Sarah Bernet and Emily Jurgens, sophomore Annika Elvestrom, ninth-grader Sarah Shahbaz and eighth-grader Karina Elvestrom.
Eden Prairie: Senior Madison Magnani and ninth-grades Niyathi Bhupatiraju and Annika Anderson.
St. Michael-Albertville: Juniors Emma Thole and Meadow LaDuke.
Wayzata: Senior Kate Ainsworth, junior Miriam Shteyman and eighth-grader Greta Holmes.
Buffalo: Sophomore Anna Lee.
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