Edina tennis players celebrated when they realized they had clinched the Class 2A boys' team championship Wednesday in their match against Wayzata played at Prior Lake High School. Photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • firstname.lastname@example.org
Going into the season, Edina boys’ tennis coach Gary Aasen was more uncertain than he had ever been in more than 20 years at the helm.
Tennis is a way of life at Edina, so talent is rarely a concern. But it had been two years since the Hornets had fielded a team and much had changed. Veteran players — senior leaders — were gone, having been denied a final season by the pandemic.
In their place were 10 newcomers, with experience limited to junior varsity where Aasen rarely got to see them.
“I didn’t even know their names. I had never seen them play a match because I didn’t get to see them last year,” Aasen said. “I had to break in 10 new guys and get them in place and see if they could be a team.”
Aasen leaned heavily into his five veterans Matthew Fullerton, Oskar Jansson, Luke Westholder, Otto Schreiner and Nolan Ranger — to lead the way to whatever success could be had.
Edina defeated previously unbeaten Wayzata 4-3 in the Class 2A team championship match Wednesday, giving the Hornets their 24th state championship and first since 2009. The final score was a little deceiving as Edina led 4-0 and did not complete their final three matches due to the withering heat at Prior Lake High School.