Saturday, Sept. 15, will go down as one of the hottest days ever in Minnesota high school tennis.
Edina hosted its invitational that day, and even in the morning the temperature was in the 80s. Later in the day, as teams prepared for their third matches of the day, the thermometer reached 95 degrees.
“Three matches are too many in heat like this,” said Hopkins head coach Kenny Novak Jr. So for the third match, Novak moved some of his singles players to doubles.
The Royals lost their opening tournament match to Minnetonka 4-3.
“Minnetonka is ranked second in the state, and the match came down to a 10-point tiebreaker in the third set at third singles,” Novak noted. “I think Minnetonka was a little bit panicked.”
The three matches Hopkins won over Tonka were all singles tests. The Royals’ No. 1 and 2 players, Maddie Suk and Rachel Kelly, posted wins, along with Sydney Wolpert at No. 4.
Wolpert was Hopkins’ only winner earlier in the week during a 6-1 dual-meet loss to No. 1-ranked Edina.
“Edina’s No. 1 and 2 players, Nicole Copeland and Annika Jansson are really good, probably the best 1-2 combination in the state,” Novak observed. “And their doubles teams are the best in the state. To beat them, you would probably have to sweep in singles. But, really, their depth is so much better than anyone else’s.”
The sixth-ranked Hopkins girls will get another crack at Minnetonka this week when the neighboring rivals meet at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, on the Minnetonka High courts.
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