East Ridge boys tennis: Raptors’ season ends with 13-4 recordCoach Suzie Heideman is proud of her players’ performances in her first year as their coach.
By: Teresa Townsend, South Washington County Bulletin
Coach Suzie Heideman is proud of her players’ performances in her first year as their coach. The East Ridge boys tennis team looks back on a season of multiple first-time achievements. The team defeated Apple Valley to win their first trip to the Section 3AA quarterfinals.
Numerous memorable conference wins helped the team achieve a 13-4 overall record. East Ridge defeated Forest Lake 4-3, Woodbury 4-3, and Cretin-Derham Hall 5-2. Heideman explained the source of the team’s resolve: “We experienced success early and we surprised ourselves and our opponents . . . We realized we were a tough team with determined players.”
Determination decided the score during the first round of Section 3AA tournament play. East Ridge defeated Apple Valley 4-3 at home on May 15. The team’s fourth point came from senior Colton Mog and seventh-grader Ben Van der Sman. The number two doubles team closed out their match in a third set tiebreaker.
“Honestly, the match could have gone either way, [but] they never gave up. They had five match points against them and kept fighting,” Heideman said.
The rest of the team showed a similar amount of willpower.
“There was a point in the match versus Apple Valley where we were down on 6 [out of] 7 courts. I’m very proud of their never-say-die attitudes,” Heideman said.
The Raptors’ win against Apple Valley propelled them to their first trip to the section quarterfinals. Despite the team’s unfailing determination, their season ended with a 6-1 loss against top seed Bloomington Jefferson on May 17.
Mog and Van der Sman found the only win for East Ridge. The number two doubles team closed out the match in two sets, 6-2, 6-4.
Although they won’t play together, the pair will continue to play for East Ridge in the individual Section 3AA tournament at the Lakeville Lifetime Fitness on May 25th. Sophomore Zach Nigatu will play with Mog and freshman Riley Pratt will play with Van der Sman. Sophomore Greg Sharrow and freshman Vishaal Gupta will play singles.