Breck girls' tennis coach Katie Wessman led the 2021 Mustangs to a state title. Another in 2022? She wondered that and considered it possible, but there were a lot of newcomers to get up to speed and lessons for them to learn.

So Wessman, a no-nonsense North Dakota native in her fourth season as Breck coach, set up the season so her team would take a few lumps early. She counted on the players developing the calluses of experience by the time they got to the postseason.

Mission accomplished.

Breck is among the favorites for the girls' tennis Class 1A team championship at the state tournament, which begins Tuesday and runs through Friday. Class 2A will be held at Baseline Tennis Center at the University of Minnesota, Class 1A at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in south Minneapolis.

"We had seven or eight brand new faces that came up from JV or didn't play last year," Wessman said. "Often, early matches can be eye-opening for them in terms of pressure and nerves."

The Mustangs loaded up on Class 2A competition. They lost a number of early matches, but wins weren't the goal then. It was all about preparing for the postseason.

Wessman leaned on her experienced senior captains, Petra Lyon and Whitt Mehbod, to help the rest of the team through rough patches.

"Those two are the backbone of the team," Wessman said. "It's good to have leaders who have state tournament experience. They kept everyone positive and helped them to keep plugging away."

The strategy paid off. The Mustangs are 8-5 in dual matches this season but undefeated against Class 1A competition.

"We feel good right now," Wessman said. "We might have gotten our butts kicked few times, but here we are."

Breck's return to the state tournament was aided by the addition of junior Isabelle Einess, who played at Minnehaha Academy last season. She was ranked No. 1 in Class 1A for much of the season but finished second in singles to then-teammate Ancele Dolensek. When Einess' family moved to the west metro, she transferred to Breck.

"I was just starting to drive to school, and Breck is only five minutes away," she said. "Plus, they have amazing academics."

Einess is the top-ranked player in 1A and picked up the No. 1 seed in the tournament. She has fit in well, she said, and is looking forward to playing for a team title but acknowledged that last year's finish is still on her mind.

"I felt like I let myself down last year," Einess said. "I look at last year as a blessing in disguise. It opened my eyes to how much harder I have to work."

Ryann Witter of Rochester Lourdes is the No. 2 seed and Ella Sell of Pine City No. 3. Class 1A does not seed its team tournament.

Class 2A

This 2A team title is Minnetonka's to lose. The defending state champion went undefeated in winning its sixth straight Section 2 title.

Skippers coach Brent Lundell has spent the season tinkering with the lineup, moving players around to put his talented players in different roles. The Skippers are 20-0.

Minnetonka senior Kelsey Phillips goes into the tournament as the No. 1 seed in singles. She beat teammate and defending singles state champion Sarah Shahbaz 7-5, 6-0 in the Section 2 final. Shahbaz is the No. 2 seed, and Eagan's Cassandra Li is No. 3.