East Ridge boys tennis: Raptors fall to Roseville for first lossThe Raptors' 4-game winning streak ended with a close 4-3 loss to undefeated Suburban East Conference opponent Roseville (6-0) on April 17.
By: Teresa Townsend, Woodbury Bulletin
After two weeks on top, East Ridge finally fell a little short. Their 4-game winning streak ended with a close 4-3 loss to undefeated Suburban East Conference opponent Roseville (6-0) on April 17. Although the Raptors (4-1) were unable to pull out a victory, they held the Raiders to 4 games. East Ridge emerged with 3 games of their own.
The hard-fought matches came down to maintaining momentum through third sets. Number one singles sophomore Zach Nigatu and number two singles senior Colton Mog both fell to Roseville but forced their opponents to fight for the victory.
“Zach and Colton played No. 1 and No. 2 singles and both won the first set,” East Ridge head coach Suzie Heideman said. “Momentum changed and they both lost the second. They both battled in the third, but came up short this time. Their opponents played well down the stretch.”
No. 1 doubles team sophomore Greg Sharrow and senior Warren Tropazado left the courts victorious after their three-set matches with the Raiders.
“Greg and Warren lost the first set, but battled back to win the second, and the momentum stayed with them as they won the third,” said Heideman. The pair’s determination brought them a final score of 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Decisive wins at number three and four singles helped keep the match competitive. Freshman Vishaal Gupta defeated Alex Polydoroft 6-3, 6-2 at number three singles, and eighth-grader Nikhil Gupta defeated Carlos Espinoza 6-2, 6-3 at number four singles.
“Vishaal and Nikhil played consistently throughout their matches. They, too, faced tough opponents, but made fewer mistakes than their opponents and closed out victories in two sets,” Heideman said.
No. 2 doubles team sophomore Aaron Christianson and junior Alex Kim couldn’t quite find a victory after winning the first set 7-5. They fell behind at 3-6 and 0-6 in sets two and three. Number two doubles team freshman Riley Pratt and seventh-grader Ben Van der Sman fell 1-6, 1-6 to Roseville.
“This was an extremely close match with four three-setters. I’d like to play them again to see what happens. This was our first team loss. I always say, ‘We celebrate the wins, but we learn from the losses.’ I think we learned from this loss. It was a tight one and could have gone either way,” Heideman said.
The Raptors will have a chance to prove what they learned when they play conference opponent Woodbury on Thursday at 3:30. East Ridge played conference foes Stillwater and White Bear Lake this week after the Bulletin went to press.