Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

A Basement of Stories
February 23, 2024

“All I Do Is Win” Ft. Skippers Girls Tennis

There’s nothing harder to do in team sports than to become a dynasty. The title “dynasty” itself represents repeated dominance against talented competitors with a target on your back the whole time. Well, the Minnetonka Skippers are on the verge of becoming a girls tennis dynasty. 

Minnetonka is coming off of back to back state championships in 2021 and 2022, and came into the 2023 season boasting a Top-3 preseason ranking despite losing tons of talent off last year’s team. There’s a lot that goes into such sustained success in a sport as competitive as Tennis, but for senior captain Karina Elvestrom, it’s all about the culture built throughout the team. She said, “Our camaraderie is awesome. Without good sportsmanship with all the girls on the team and without a good community, even the best team won’t be successful, so it’s huge for us to have that.”

Even with a culture of winning already in place, it’s always tough to reload immediately after moving on from senior-led teams, and Minnetonka is feeling that in full effect. The Skippers lose a dozen seniors from last year’s team including multiple key players, and as with any team, it’s tough to simply move on from all that talent and leadership. Elvestrom said, “All 12 seniors we lost were pretty irreplaceable. We’ve had 6 girls come on who are all very, very good, but I can’t say we’ve completely replaced any of them.”

Luckily, this is still a team led by upperclassmen who are ready to step into a huge leadership role, despite the pressure it brings. Elvestrom said, “The biggest thing is being friendly, outgoing, and kind to the underclassmen. Even the JV and B team girls know once they do make varsity it’ll be a safe place to be, and that’s been a huge point of emphasis for the seniors.”

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Coaching plays a huge role in this as well, and although Minnetonka’s gone through 3 coaching changes in the past 6 years, that’s still a strong point for the Skippers. A big emphasis for the coaching staff is being hands on, and that shows with the team’s performance. Elvestrom said, “We’ve got very structured practices but coaches are also willing to work with you one on one if you need help,” which is obviously huge in a sport as individual as tennis can be.

Despite all the changes from last year, one word Elvestrom used to describe the team was “awesome.” “Everyone is so friendly and everyone’s feeling included. It’s such an awesome environment to be a part of.” It’s also a very talented team, as the Skippers have reached the section championship and look to get back to state with another strong performance all around. Elvestrom noted, “A couple strong practices and focusing on our work and dedication for the upcoming matches, and we can achieve our goals.” Given the Skippers’ results of the last 2 years, that’s pretty hard to argue against.

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