Minnetonka High boys tennis coach Dave Stearns has been around for 30 years, and he said he can’t remember too many years when the Lake Conference teams had a better season than they had in 2017.
“This was an exceptional year for Lake tennis,” he said in a recent interview. “Three Lake teams qualified for the State Class AA Tournament.”
Stearns Minnetonka boys won state for the second year in a row, thanks in part to the clutch play of the unheralded third doubles team of Christian Lund and Adam Thompson. That duo provided the winning point when the Skippers defeated East Ridge 4-3 in the state finals at the University of Minnesota’s Baseline Tennis Center.
Lund and Thompson didn’t make the All-Lake Conference team, which the league’s head coaches selected during their postseason meeting. However, the Skippers’ other four varsity doubles players are members of the All-Lake squad.
Minnetonka’s first doubles team of brothers Carter and Trevor Smiley had a great year, and so did the second doubles team of Frank Stich and Jacob Stork. The Stich-Stork team took third place in the State Class AA Individual Tournament.
Most of the Lake teams had depth in doubles this season.
Wayzata head coach Jeff Prondzinski built his doubles lineup around senior captain Nick Goetz.
“Nick was our only returning doubles player from last year, when he played No. 3,” Prondzinski noted. “He and Matthew Hagen played well as our first doubles team.”
Wayzata and Edina joined Minnetonka as the two other Lake teams that qualified for the State Team Tournament. Wayzata lost a 4-3 third-place match to Mounds View for a fourth-place finish. Edina lost 4-3 to Rochester Mayo in the consolation championship match. That gave the Hornets sixth place.
In this year’s conference race, Minnetonka was the champion with a 4-0 record, followed by Edina (3-1), Wayzata (2-2), Eden Prairie (1-3) and Hopkins (0-4).
The All-Lake team includes seven seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and one freshman.
Following is the list of players, as selected by the coaches.
Minnetonka: Senior Carter Smiley, junior Trevor Smiley, junior Frank Stich and junior Jacob Stork.
Edina: Senior Noah Shane, junior John Webb and junior Harrison Tuttle.
Wayzata: Senior Nick Goetz, sophomore John Foley and freshman Jonathan Nudler.
Eden Prairie: Seniors Carter Mason, Jacob Neuman and Mukund Venkateswaran.
Hopkins: Senior Sam Diedrich and sophomore Felix Johnson.
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