Tennis: Elks open at state against Mahtomedi on Tuesday

The Elk River tennis team, making its sixth consecutive appearance in the state tournament, will face the Mahtomedi Zephyrs in the first round Tuesday.

The Elks (21-4) and Zephyrs (13-4-1) will duel at 10 a.m. at the University of Minnesota’s Baseline Tennis Center.

The Zephyrs beat Stillwater 5-2 in the Section 4AA finals and the Elks beat Forest Lake 4-3 in the 7AA finals.

Their only common foe with the Elks was Centennial, each losing to the Cougars 6-1. (Centennial has the misfortune of being in the same section as perennial power Mounds View.)

This is Mahtomedi’s first state appearance since 2006 when they were runners-up to Edina.

The Zephyrs’ state individual qualifiers are seniors Spencer Comfort and Bailey Kent in doubles. The Elks’ qualifiers are seniors Camille Kraljic and Katie O’Connell in doubles, and junior Michaela Schulz in singles.

Because state tennis is unseeded, the Elks-Mahtomedi duel is one of two matchups of unranked teams in the first round. The other is Rosemount vs. Brainerd at noon.

Meanwhile, No. 1 rankedĀ  Edina faces No. 2 Mounds View at 8 a.m. and No. 3 Rochester Mayo faces No. 5 Minnetonka at 2 p.m.

The Elk River-Mahtomedi winner goes against the Edina-Mounds View winner on Wednesday at 8 a.m. The other semifinal follows at 10.

The fifth-place match is slated for noon, third place for 2 p.m. and championship 4 p.m.

Tuesday’s first-round losers go to consolation later in the day. If the Elks lose they’ll play at 4 p.m. against Edina or Mounds View.

On Thursday, Kraljic and O’Connell will open against Minnetonka’s Maya MacGibbon and Sydney Baldwin at 10 a.m. Schulz faces St. Paul Central’s Helen Klass-Warch at 8 a.m.