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East Ridge tennis: Section play begins with clean sweep for Raptors

East Ridge tennis team members celebrate their 7-0 win last week in Section 3AA quarterfinal play over Apple Valley. The Raptors play Eagan this week in the semifinals. (Submitted photo)

The Raptors received the top seed in Section 3AA, then went on to prove its ability to dominate.

After receiving a first-round bye, the Raptors earned a complete sweep against the No. 8-seeded Apple Valley Eagles.

Not one of the Raptors’ singles players – Anuraag Bukkuri, Ben Van der Smam, Vishaal Gupta or Nikhil Gupta – dropped a set in their games.

The same went for East Ridge’s top two doubles teams (Greg Sharrow/Evan Lu and Zak Nigatu/Riley Pratt) though the No. 3 doubles match brought high drama. The team of Cormac Dolezal and Hanting Guo eventually prevailed in a three-set match decided by an 11-9 super-tiebreaker.

The win advanced the Raptors to the section semifinals against Eagan. The match was played Tuesday, May 20, after the Bulletin went to press.

“My hope is for our team to be 100 percent and healthy, as we’ve had lots of illnesses this season,” said Raptors coach Suzie Heideman.

If East Ridge advances to the finals, it would face either No. 3-seeded Eastview or No. 2-seeded Burnsville.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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