A strong end to the regular season carried over into Tuesday’s start of postseason play for the Coon Rapids girls tennis team.
The ninth-seeded Cardinals, which won their final three matches of the regular season, shut out No. 16 Minneapolis Edison 7-0 at home in the first of the Section 5AA tournament.
It has been a strong finish after a challenging start, with the Cardinals closing the gap on several opponents in recent weeks.
After tight 4-3 losses to Centennial, Robbinsdale Armstrong and Totino-Grace three weeks ago, Coon Rapids toppled Andover, Osseo and Irondale.
“Over the last few weeks we have been playing much better,” Coon Rapids head coach Scott Storrick said. “Winning the last three matches has been great to show our team that if they keep working hard in practice they will get better.
“What stood out for me this year was how hard our players worked in their matches. Our three captains Maddie Westra, Ellen Everhart and Mya Mochinski have been great leaders and have taken a lot of leadership positions this past year.”
The Cardinals have leaned on that experience, while also picking up key contributions from younger players, sparking optimism for the future.
“We will be losing four seniors who contributed this year, but we are also gaining a strong group of 10th-graders and Kaydance Hinn, who is one of our better ninth-graders,” Storrick said. “I am hoping that our players continue to work on their games a little bit during the offseason and play other sports so they can become more mentally tough.”
Coon Rapids is scheduled to play at No. 8 seed St. Michael-Albertville on Wednesday, with No. 5 seed Anoka slated to host No. 13 Rogers.
The quarterfinals are scheduled for Thursday, with the semifinals and finals taking place next week.