He didn't even have a full lineup because of spring break absences. But the results Apple Valley boys' tennis coach Bruce Gullikson saw in the Eagles' first three matches of the season left him smiling.

Apple Valley went 3-0 at the Hilltopper Invitational in Duluth. The Eagles won 20 of 21 matches against opponents from the Lake Superior area.

"A pretty good start," Gullikson said. "I was a little surprised we were that dominant with three returning lettermen not there."

But senior captains Tanner Rayman and Sam Hoyt, the Eagles' top two players, were present for the victories.

"They didn't come close to losing," Gullikson said. "They both played very well, and they are the strength of our team for sure. They looked good; in midseason form. I am very happy with them."

Those two will be vital for an Apple Valley team that Gullikson expects to be in the hunt in the South Suburban Conference behind expected front-runner Eagan.

"We have some depth," he said. "We're among three or four teams that, if the breaks go our way, we can be right up there."

Apple Valley continues its schedule Thursday at home against Lakeville North.

 Lundin hired

Shelly Lundin has been hired as Apple Valley's head volleyball coach. Lundin, who has been on the Eagles coaching staff since 2009, was a four-year starter at the University of Maine, where her future husband, Mike Lundin, played hockey. Mike Lundin, a former Eagles athlete, is a defenseman for the Wild.