Ask most any Minnetonka player and they will tell you the Skippers’ biggest rival is Wayzata. Same goes for almost all the big-school teams in the west metro and beyond regarding the one team they absolutely, positively most desire to beat. Wayzata, Wayzata, Wayzata.
Defending Class 3A state champion Wayzata, ranked No. 1 in the Class 3A coaches' poll from Nov. 8, has been dominant in winning all but two of its matches in 3-0 sweeps this season. The last set the Trojans surrendered came on Nov. 4 in a 3-1 triumph over No. 9-3A St. Michael-Albertville.
The transfer of former Hopkins standouts and twins Olivia and Stella Swenson — both were All-Lake Conference selections last season and are already more than 6-feet tall, despite being freshmen — has provided a big boost for a Trojans (9-0, 8-0) team that was hit hard by graduation after last season. Olivia is the Trojans’ top hitter with 74 kills and Stella is the team’s top setter with 195 assists.
Minnetonka (8-1, 6-1) has shown incremental improvement over the last decade, with one of the big breakthroughs coming last season when the Skippers made just their second state tournament appearance in program history (Minnetonka won the Class 2A title in 1976 in the two-class era). The No. 7-3A Skippers’ stable of talented hitters is led by junior Abby Stanwood (88 kills) and senior Kali Engeman (84 kills).