Elk River and Maple Grove, quarterfinal opponents at the girls' tennis state tournament, had not only played each other twice during the season — each team won once — but the teams were training partners, the players fast friends.

Elk River won the clash of familiarity, beating Maple Grove 5-2 at Baseline Tennis Center on the University of Minnesota campus to advance to Wednesday's semifinals. Championship matches also will be Wednesday.

The Elks' No. 1 doubles pairing of senior Kate Perbix and junior Leah Skogquist-Berg clinched the match-winning point. The Elks had won three of the first four singles matches and needed just one point at doubles to advance. Perbix and Skogquist-Berg provided it with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 victory.

"Our whole team drills with them in the offseason, so it's kind of a mental and emotional battle," Perbix said. "You've got to put the friends part on the side and start playing."

Perbix admitted it wasn't easy, particularly when the situation called for a more ruthless approach.

"It's hard when they are your friends, especially when you have to hit it right at them," she said. "But you know you have to do it. And they did it to us, too. So it's all good."

The victory ensured the Elks a semifinal match against No. 1 seed Minnetonka, which defeated Mounds View 6-1 to improve to 21-0. Perbix, one of the Elks' captains, admitted the task of playing the defending state champions and tournament favorite is daunting, but considering the alternative, she was ready to face it head on.

"I'm so proud of Elk River," she said. "The past three times we've come here, we've lost in the first round. With Minnetonka, we're just going to go out with an open mind. You never know. People have off days."

Edina advances

Edina's Nicola Santoni was a member of the last Edina team to advance to the state tournament, in 2019, back when the Hornets were synonymous with postseason success. Edina won 19 consecutive Class 2A state championships until falling in 2016, then won three more in a row.

Santoni, a senior captain, said getting back to the state tournament was more meaningful than getting there in 2019.

"This time was even more thrilling," said Santoni, who won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, helping Edina to a 7-0 victory over Thief River Falls.

Santoni, who played doubles as a freshman in 2019, said she and Edina's other two captains, Sami Hankinson and Annie Klemmensen, set their sights on getting back to the state tournament at the beginning of the season.

"We are the last ones to be part of that past," Santoni said. "It's been a very rewarding feeling."

"I stood on those bleachers when I was in fourth grade," said Hankinson, now a senior and the Hornets' No. 1 singles player, pointing at the stands at Baseline Tennis Center overlooking Courts 5 and 6. "I was watching [cousin] Hannah and I remember saying, 'I'm going to play here.' It's exciting."

Edina will play Rochester Mayo in the semifinals. The Spartans beat first-time entrant Visitation 7-0.

Class 1A

There were no surprises in the small-school state quarterfinals at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in south Minneapolis. Defending champion Breck held off St. James 4-3, Rochester Lourdes defeated Pine City 4-3, Providence Academy downed Luverne 7-0 and Litchfield beat Staples-Motley 5-2.