Spotlight on Girls Tennis: Serving Success in 2022


Photo Courtesy of Kelsey Phillips

Anna Schwab, Managing Editor of Sports and Wellness

Summer has ended and the 2022-23 school year has started, which means it’s time for high school sports. Minnetonka Girls Tennis is ready for another exciting season.

Last year the team had an outstanding finish to their season, winning three state titles in the 2021 AA State Championship, including the title of 2021 Girls Tennis Class AA Team Champion. Additionally, Sarah Shahbaz ‘23, claimed the title of 2021 AA Singles Champion and sisters Karina Elvestrom ‘24 and Annika Elvestrom ’22 claimed the title of 2021 AA Doubles Champions.

As the season commences, Minnetonka is living up to their title. As of September 18, 2022, Girls’ Tennis is ranked first in the state; they also hold three of the top five spots in the singles ranking—with Shahbaz in first place, Elvestrom in fourth, and Kelsey Phillips ‘23 in fifth.

Coming into her senior year season, Shahbaz is thinking about what legacy she wants to leave.

“My personal goals for this season are to gain relationships with the girls on the team and leave the Minnetonka tennis team feeling happy and confident that I’ve made an impact,” said Shahbaz.

The strong community among the players is at the heart of the tennis team’s success.

“We have a big team, so it’s super fun to get to know everyone and we all joke around and have a lot of fun,” said Phillips.

“The community of Minnetonka Girls’ Tennis is just so genuine and we are so close this year that our community is just so tight knit,” said Shahbaz. Along with the supportive community, game day rituals lead to success on the court as well.

“A pre-game or match tradition of ours is to break it down on the Minnetonka M, as well as our pep talk that we have after the lineup—just getting everybody engaged as a team and hype up all the girls playing as well as the girls who aren’t,” said Shahbaz.

It is impossible to be successful without a destination.

“[Our] team goals overall are to just build relationships and go into the postseason as a deep and genuine team,” said Shahbaz.

Phillips added, “Winning state,” was their team’s goal.