After a phenomenal season of team tennis, the SPA boys' tennis team was crowned Class A State champions on Wednesday, June 8. The Spartans beat a strong Breck team 5-2 to take the title.
The team's march through the postseason began with two resounding wins in section competition, defeating Humboldt 7-0 in the quarter round and Hill-Murray 7-0 in the semifinals. The section final against Mounds Park Academy gave the Spartans their first real test, but they came out on top with a 4-3 win to qualify for the State tournament. At State, the Spartans followed a similar path, with a 7-0 win over Luverne Senior High and a 5-2 win over Rock Ridge in the semifinals. The championship match against IMAC rival Breck was a chance to replay 2021's loss to the Mustangs in the State quarterfinals, and the team took their chance, beating Breck in a convincing 5-2 win for the Class A title.
In the Pioneer Press article about the team's win, Spartan tennis head coach Luke Elifson says a state championship run was something that the team was shooting for all season: “We knew we had a lot of talent coming from last year — a lot of young players that have gone to state [and] knew what it took,” Coach Elifson says. “As the season progressed, we realized we had more talent than we (thought) and it’d ultimately come down to our rackets. And we came up when it mattered most.”
Team leader and SPA senior Alex Moore '22 says that the team was a tight-knit group, making the championship win that much sweeter: “I think the team really bonded right from the start,” Moore says in the article. “Because we were all friends, we were all willing to do whatever coach wanted and what we needed to do to win.”
Congratulations to the SPA doubles team of Leo Benson '24/Maik Nguyen '24! After falling in the state semifinals to a duo from Rochester 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, they were able to rally to win the third-place match 7-6, 6-2 over a duo from Fridley.