East Ridge girls tennis: Raptors’ season ends in sectionsThe Raptors girls tennis season came to an end as East Ridge was unable to advance an individual tennis player to the state meet out of the Section 4AA tournament.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
The Raptors girls tennis season came to an end as East Ridge was unable to advance an individual tennis player to the state meet out of the Section 4AA tournament.
“Overall, it was a great end to our season,” East Ridge head coach Jon Rydberg said. “We had the best finishes in team history in our conference and section play.”
A number of tennis players won matches for East Ridge in the tourney, but junior No. 1 singles player Leah Robinson advanced as far as any other Raptor, reaching the section quarterfinals, before falling to top-seeded Natalie Phippen of Stillwater 6-2, 6-0 to end her season. Robinson won her first-round match 6-0, 6-2 over St. Paul Johnson’s Alisha Moua and beat Mahtomedi’s Meera Domodaran 7-5, 6-3 in the second round.
“Leah played great all day,” Rydberg said. “Her second round was one of the toughest for anyone in the tournament but she stuck with the game plan and executed well. “
In doubles play, the eighth-seeded duo of Emily Mueller and Taylor Anderson also reached the section quarterfinals, beating Tartan 6-0, 6-0 in round No. 1 and St. Paul Central 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 in the second round. However, in the quarterfinals, Mueller and Anderson fell to top-seeded Spencer Comfort and Bailey Kent in a three-setter, 7-5, 2-6, 1-6.
“Emily and Taylor had a wonderful tournament,” Rydberg said. “The senior/sophomore combo looked to upset the No. 1 seeds, but ran out of gas once the second set started. It was a great learning experience for Taylor who can take that with her for next year.”
Additionally, East Ridge’s Maddie Blake beat Hannah Croonquist of Tartan 7-5, 6-0 in round No. 1, before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Alison Kauss of Harding, the No. 2 seed, in the second round.
“Maddie played great,” Rydberg said. “She just ran into the number two seed who was playing exceptionally well.”
The dynamic duo of Nicole Robinson and Natalie Robinson had to default in the first round due to injury, as Natalie Robinson sprained her ankle up 3-1 in the second set.
“She tried to keep playing but had a hard time getting around,” Rydberg said. “I told the girls that the right thing to do was to default the match and let Harding play onto the next round as her ankle was not going to get better. Plus, we did not want to make the injury worse. It was an upsetting way to finish the season for them as they had a shot to go deep into the tournament. But they handled the situation with class and took it in stride.”
East Ridge now must say good-bye to three seniors from the final roster – Mueller, Oksana Carlier and Hannah Strom.
“Losing Emily Mueller will be a big loss, but we should be even stronger next year as most teams are losing many more key players than East Ridge,” Rydberg said. “On top of our play, the team earned Gold status once again for their academic achievements, which is the highest honor available.”