It had to happen at some point, but the run of team state championships by the Edina girls’ tennis team over nearly two decades was so complete that the Hornets looked invincible every time they stepped on the court. Cracks appeared in 2016, however, and Mahtomedi slipped through, defeating Edina 4-3 in the Class 2A semifinals. The Zephyrs became the first team to defeat the Hornets in the state tournament since 1996, ending Edina’s remarkable streak of consecutive state titles at 19, the longest in state history.
With a team that ran past opponents instead of through them, Eden Prairie won 11 consecutive games, seven by shutout. Alas, the Eagles could not find an antidote for the team that has become their Kryptonite, Totino-Grace. They lost twice to Totino-Grace — the only team to defeat them since 2012. First in the season-opener, 17-14, and again in the Class 6A championship game, 28-20.
No Floyd? No problem
Two offensive plays into their first Prep Bowl appearance, Benilde-St. Margaret’s lost star running back Ricky Floyd to a shoulder injury. But the Red Knights elevated their level of play. Quarterback Will Whitmore passed for 153 yards and a touchdown and backup tailback Liam Ford added 81 yards rushing and two second-half touchdowns. It was enough to outlast Winona 31-28 to win the Class 4A championship.
The Class 2A girls’ swimming and diving meet was a de facto Lake Conference championship. Edina outpointed three-time defending champion Wayzata to win the team championship. Two more conference members, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie, finished third and fourth, respectively.
Was another girls’ tennis dynasty being established at Blake in Class 1A? The Bears won their second consecutive team championship and fourth in the past six seasons. The reason for the break in titles in 2013 and 2014? Blake moved to Class 2A in those seasons before dropping back down to 1A in 2015.