MINNEAPOLIS - Abby Edin was "walking on clouds" when she stepped onto the court to face the defending state singles champion Alexa Palen of Rochester Lourdes Saturday.
The Staples-Motley junior fell to Palen 6-0, 6-0 to finish second in Class 1A singles tournament, but for Edin the journey was unforgettable and motivating.
"I was so excited to be in the finals and I wasn't too worried about playing the best player in the state," said Edin. "I knew she was so good and I wasn't going to get mad if she hit a winner down the line. I knew that was going to happen and it did. I was so excited to get to the finals that I wasn't worried."
Palen, who helped her team capture the Class 1A team title earlier in the tournament, finished her career with two singles and a doubles title.
For Edin, being the top returning player next year has her ready for a busy offseason.
"This will definitely drive me, especially since (Palen) is a senior," she said. "I want the title that much more. I was so close that I could taste it. That's the exciting part. It just makes me want it that much more."
Edin advanced to the final by outlasting Brenna Kelly of Mounds Park Academy. Edin won the first set 7-6. She lost the second set 4-6 and found herself down 1-4 in the third set before rallying to win.
"When I was down 1-4 I was crying and praying the whole time because I wanted it so bad," said Edin. "I came back and I was able to beat her. It was the best match I have ever played."
The tournament capped off a successful season for Edin and the Cardinals, who finished fourth as a team.
"It was a very good year," said Edin. "There were some ups and downs, but more ups. We'll come back next year and hope to do it all over again."
The Aitkin doubles team of Allie Carlson-Alice Browning lost their consolation semifinal match to Maple River's Mandi Stencel-Sara Anderson 7-5, 0-6, 6-2.
Abby Edin (Staples-Motley) def. Brenna Kelly (Mounds Park Academy) 7-6 (2), 4-6, 7-5
Alexa Palen (Rochester Lourdes) def. Edin 6-0, 6-0
Mandi Stencel-Sara Anderson (Maple River) def. Allie Carlson-Alice Browning (Aitkin) 7-5, 0-6, 6-2
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