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East Ridge boys tennis: Wins over Roseville and Stillwater improves Raptors’ record to 4-0

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The East Ridge boys tennis team picked up two more wins last week to improve to 4-0 on the season.

East Ridge beat Suburban East Conference foes Roseville and Stillwater, only dropping two sets in the process, to stay unbeaten on the year. East Ridge is now 3-0 in conference play and has won its four matches a combined 27-1.

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East Ridge head coach Suzie Heideman said having all 15 players on varsity pushing each other has helped lead to the Raptors’ early season success.

“Every player has played a counting position and we’re only four matches in,” Heideman said. “I knew all of these guys would contribute to our team’s success. All of the guys are playing great tennis.”

On Tuesday, April 15, East Ridge defeated Roseville 6-1 at home in Woodbury.

East Ridge junior Vishaal Gupta won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, freshman Ben Van der sman won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles and sophomore Nikhil Gupta won 6-4, 6-1 at third singles to give the Raptors three singles wins. In doubles play, senior Greg Sharrow and junior Riley Pratt won 6-0, 6-2 at the No. 1 spot, seniors Zak Nigatu and Phillip Cai won 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles and seniors Evan Lu and Tim Holzinger won 6-1, 6-1 at third doubles.

On Thursday, April 17, East Ridge won 7-0 at Stillwater.

East Ridge freshman Anuraag Bukkuri won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, Van der sman won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, Nikhil Gupta won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles and Pratt won 6-0, 6-1 at fourth singles. In doubles action, Nigatu and Vishaal Gupta teamed up to win 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles, Cai and Lu won 6-4, 6-3 at second doubles and senior Aaron Christianson and freshman Cormac Dolezal won 6-4, 6-3 at third doubles.

Heideman made not of the play of Van der sman, who has gone 4-0 to start the year, winning his matches a combined 48-2. The freshman has played on the varsity team since being in seventh grade.

“He has really shown a lot of improvement,” Heideman said. “One of things that stands out about Ben is his tremendous footwork. He’s a great soccer player, which obviously helps him with his footwork in tennis.”

East Ridge took on White Bear Lake at home on Tuesday, April 22, after the Bulletin went to print. Next, the Raptors go head-to-head with rival Woodbury on Thursday. East Ridge and Woodbury will then host the eight-team SoWashCo Invitational on Saturday, along with fellow District 833 school Park.

“It’s East Ridge’s prom (Saturday), so we’ll be missing a few guys, but that will allow more of our players to play in the tourney,” Heideman said. “I’m looking forward to another great week of tennis. If we can just keep the snow away.”

—Patrick Johnson

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Patrick Johnson
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.
(651) 319-4505
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