As a girls' tennis team captain, Edina's Morgan Marinovich admits there is pressure.
Not pressure to win, mind you. The Hornets, who have won 15 consecutive Class 2A team championships, do plenty of that.
What Marinovich and fellow captain Meghan Herring worry about is not losing.
"That's why we practice so much," said Marinovich, a senior doubles specialist. "It would be the worst if we lost in my captain's year."
Staff writer Jim Paulsen talked with Marinovich about what it takes to keep such a streak going.
Q As a captain, what are your responsibilities?
A One of the biggest things is making it fun for the younger girls. I remember when I was in ninth grade and how much I looked up to the seniors. They showed us so much. Now it's our turn.
Q What types of things do you do?
A We always have team dinners and make sure we include all of the girls in everything we do. There is no drama. We want to make it a friendly, welcoming environment for everyone.
Q I know the team has a lot of secrets and traditions designed for team unity. Any you can divulge?
A We have secret sisters, where you draw a random name of someone on the team. You have to get them a present that is meaningful to them, so you have to find out more about them. Otherwise you might not get to know them very well.
Q The best gift you've received?
A I got a goldfish last year. A real goldfish. It came in a plastic bag. It's in my room now. I named it Nemo.
Q How do you help keep everyone playing their best?
A We take our captain's practices very seriously. Normally, we just try to have fun. But this year we bought candy and gave out pieces to girls who did good things on the court.
Q What have you done to keep yourself sharp?
A I stepped it up last summer. I did all the drills and played in a lot of tournaments.
Q Teammates' injuries forced you to play some singles this season. Did you enjoy the change?
A It wasn't too different because I play a lot of singles in the offseason in during USTA tournaments. It was a fun experience.
Q Prefer singles or doubles?
A Doubles, for sure. I'm more comfortable when I have a partner with me.
Q Do you have a favorite partner?
A My little sister Mackenzi. We mesh together well when we play. We might have our differences off the court, but on the court we are a great team.
Q The high school season is very short. How important is it to you?
A Playing high school tennis has strengthened my love for tennis. I wouldn't enjoy it as much if there wasn't a team aspect. And it's all the more special to play for Edina.
Q I suppose you get treated really well around school.
A All of the girls take school very seriously and treat the teachers with respect. We try to pass those values along. But I do wish we would get more people to come to our matches. I know everybody is busy, but I don't think they understand the level we play at.
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