Beat Elk River for retiring coach
By Bob San
Sun Press Newspapers
The Maple Grove boys’ tennis team brought home the program’s first ever state trophy when it finished third last week in the state tournament at the U of M Baseline Center.
The Crimson, seeded fourth, beat Mahtomedia 5-2 in the first round, lost to eventual state champion Wayzata 7-0 in the semifinal before beating defending state champion Elk River 5-2 in the third-place contest. The win over Elk River carried extra significance because it was the final match for Crimson coach J.C. Lippold.
Crimson first singles Zach Adkins said his team did its best and was pleased with the results.
“I don’t think it could have been much better given the draw,” he said. “Wayzata won 7-0 three times. Wayzata came to state ready to win everything, and they played too well for anyone to stand a chance. I thought for sure we’d make it closer than 0-7, but it wasn’t really that much of a surprise looking at how they thrashed everyone else. And to beat Elk River for third was the greatest way to end the season possible. J.C. got to end his high school tennis career with his first win over Elk River to make his record to 1-37 against Elk River as a player or coach.”
With many underclassmen on the state roster, the Crimson are looking forward to more state successes in future seasons.
“There’s no reason we can’t win state next year,” Adkins said. “We will return stronger than ever, with more experience at state than most of the other teams’ players. From sixth to third place, we can do better yet.”