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The East Ridge boys tennis team remained perfect, at 9-0 overall, after playing four matches and a tournament this past week. (Submitted photo)
The East Ridge boys tennis team remained perfect, at 9-0 overall, after playing four matches and a tournament this past week. (Submitted photo)

East Ridge boys tennis: Record stands a perfect 9-0 for Raptors

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sports Cottage Grove, 55016
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

The East Ridge boys tennis team remained perfect, at 9-0 overall, after playing four matches and a tournament this past week.

East Ridge beat section foe Eastview 5-2 on Monday, April 28, took down Suburban East Conference opponent Cretin-Derham Hall 6-1 on Tuesday, April 29, beat SEC foe Forest Lake 6-1 on Thursday, May 1, and defeated Rochester Lourdes 5-2 in a non-conference duel on Friday, May 2. The Raptors finished the week, taking first place at the eight-team Harding Invitational on Saturday, May 3, going 23-1 in its matches on the day.

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“We have so many guys who are playing so well,” East Ridge head coach Suzie Heidman said. “I’m super proud of all my players. This was a very busy week of excellent tennis.”

In Monday’s “Big East” rivalry match with section foe Eastview, the Raptors won three of four singles matches and two of three doubles matches. At No. 1 singles, freshman Anuraag Bukkuri defeated Jay Schaffenhauer 6-2, 7-6(2) in a three-hour battle. Also, at third singles, junior Vishaal Gupta won 6-2, 6-3 and sophomore Nikhil Gupta won 6-1, 6-1.

“Both brothers, Nikhil and Vishaal, have extremely positive body language when they play,” Heidman said. “I can never tell if they are up or down. They stay very calm, and in control of their emotions, which is so important in the game of tennis. I want future Raptor players to watch them and take notes.”

In doubles play, the Raptors’ No. 1 duo of senior Greg Sharrow and junior Riley Pratt won 6-1, 6-0 and the third doubles team of seniors Evan Lu and Tim Hilzinger won 6-3, 6-4.

In the win over Cretin-Derham Hall, Sharrow played No. 1 singles and won 6-2, 6-4, freshman Ben Van der sman won 6-0, 7-5 at second singles and Nikhil Gupta won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles.

In doubles action, Lu and Vishaal Gupta won 7-5, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles, while freshman Cormac Dolezal and junior Hanting Guo won 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles and senior Aaron Christianson and freshman Evan Fridinger won 6-3, 6-2, at third doubles.

In the win over Forest Lake, Van der sman won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles, Vishaal Gupta won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles and Nikhil Gupta won 6-0, 6-0 at fourth singles. In doubles play, Sharrow and Pratt won 6-1, 6-4 at the No. 1 spot, Nigatu and Lu won 6-1, 6-1 at the second spot and Holzinger and senior Phillip Cai won 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-8 at third doubles.

Friday, East Ridge took down Rochester Lourdes, which was ranked No. 2 in Class A and had beaten Rochester Mayo, a team ranked in the top 10 in Class AA.

At second singles Vishaal Gupta won 1-6, 6-3, 10-8, Van der sman won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles and Nikhil Gupta won 6-0, 6-0 at fourth singles. In doubles play, Pratt and Bukkuri won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles and Dolezal and Guo won 6-2, 6-2 at third doubles.

At the Harding tournament, East Ridge totaled 38 points to top second-place Lakeville South (21 points) and third-place Harding (20 points). The Raptors won the championship in every flight, except at No. 1 singles, where Bukkuri earned the consolation title.

—Patrick Johnson

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Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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