Charlie Adkins and Rory Calabria made Maple Grove High history when they won the school’s first ever state tennis championship.
Adkins, a sophomore, and Calabria, a junior, captured the AA doubles title by winning all four matches in straight sets last week at the state tournament at the University of Minnesota. They beat a team from Mahtomedi 6-1, 6-1 in round one, downed a Woodbury team 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinal, edged an Elk River team 6-4, 7-5 in the semifinal before downing an Eden Prairie twosome 6-1, 6-3 in the championship.
Crimson coach John Kuntz was extremely impressed with the play of Calabria and Adkins because this was the first time they played doubles together.
“They normally play singles all year but really put it together when it counted,” Kuntz said. “The best part of this team is how they worked together and communicated. They both have really big games as singles players but they worked really hard throughout individuals to perfect the way they play together.”
Adkins and Calabria emerged on top of a very competitive field.
“The doubles field was really strong this year where a lot of teams put the big singles guys on their teams to make doubles teams,” Kuntz said. “I was very impressed with how they played, they never even dropped a set throughout sections and the state tournament.”
In singles, senior Zach Adkins won his first round match in straight set over Gabe Steinwand of Moorhead but lost to good friend and eventual state champ Nick Beaty of Wayzata in the next round.
“Zach made it to the winners’ bracket for the first time ever after beating a very good player in the first round,” Kuntz said. “He then lost to the eventual state champion in the second round in which he played a very good match.”
Freshman Sam Hochberger had a strong tournament, finishing 2-2 and making it to the consolation finals. He ended up losing, but won a set against defending state champ Joey Richards of Minnetonka in a third-set tiebreaker.