Girls tennis: Raptors edge Woodbury again; take second at Raptor/Royal inviteEast Ridge beat Woodbury 4-3 on Thursday, Sept. 15, to give the Raptors girls team its second win over the intra-district and Suburban East Conference rival Royals this season.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
East Ridge beat Woodbury 4-3 on Thursday, Sept. 15, to give the Raptors girls team its second win over the intra-district and Suburban East Conference rival Royals this season. Earlier this fall East Ridge (8-3, 3-2 SEC) beat Woodbury 5-2 in a non-conference tournament match.
“It was a very exciting match against East Ridge, coming down to the three long doubles matches and they were able to get two of the three,” Woodbury head coach Derek Otto said. “(East Ridge head coach Jon Rydberg) has done a great job with the East Ridge squad. They played well and won the big points they needed to today to come away with the W.”
This time around for East Ridge, Maddie Blake beat Coco Vizoli 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles and Natalie Robinson beat Kait Shea 6-3, 6-3 at third singles, while the No. 1 duo of Emily Mueller and Taylor Anderson beat Rachel Eisenrich and Shanna Stevenson 6-0, 2-6, 6-3 and Minh-Tu Van and Hannah Jacobs beat Yssa Delmundo and Kristin Chu 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 at third singles.
In the match, Van and Jacobs erased a 5-2 deficit in the third set to win their match and the game for the Raptors’ team.
“It was a harder-fought win this time around with WHS, but an important win as this was in conference play,” Rydberg said. “We only had one in conference win our first two years, we have three this year to move up in the ranks.”
For Woodbury, Hannah Robbins came storming back with a 6-3, 6-1 win against Leah Robinson who beat her handily a few weeks ago. Same goes for Rae Zellmer who notched a solid victory 6-1, 6-3 against Nicole Robinson.
“I’ve been impressed with the progress of all of our girls and on this day Hannah and Rae summed that progress up for us pretty well, winning matches that earlier in the season we’d have lost badly,” Otto said. “ Hannah’s rise from third singles last year has been really fun to watch as she continues to find ways to win points whereas at No. 3 she was able to earn All-Conference honors by just grinding it out and letting her opponent eventually lose the point. She has been solid in the No. 1 spot for us this season.”
Zellmer’s win improved her to 8-2 on the year at second singles.
“Rae doesn’t have the tennis experience that some of her opponents do, but she uses her mental and physical stamina and athletic ability to wear down her competition,” Otto said. “She actually didn’t play tennis last year, and has been a great addition to our varsity squad.”
Prior to beating the Royals, East Ridge earned a 6-1 SEC win over White Bear Lake on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and lost 6-1 to Red Wing in a non-conference tilt on Monday, Sept. 12.
In the win over the Bears, Blake won 6-2, 6-1 at second singles, Nicole Robinson won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles and Natalie Robinson won 6-1, 6-3 at fourth singles. In doubles play, the No. 1 duo of Mueller and Anderson won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, the No. 2 duo of Hannah Strom and Anna Bearrood won 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 and Van and Jacobs won 6-0, 5-7, 6-3 at third dubs.
Against Red Wing, Nicole Robinson registered the Raptors’ lone win – at fourth singles – 6-2, 6-4.
Both White Bear Lake and Red Wing beat East Ridge 7-0 last year.
Prior to playing East Ridge, Woodbury fell 6-1 to a solid Cretin-Derham Hall team.
“We played them very tough,” Otto said. “They’re a great team, and usually are, so for us to go toe-to-toe with them in a long, hard-fought match was an impressive feat.”
For Woodbury, Zellmer notched a convincing win in her third-set victory to earn the Royals their loan point.
Additionally, East Ridge finished behind South St. Paul in the eight-team annual Royal/Raptor Invitational, hosted by East Ridge and Woodbury High School on Saturday, Sept. 17. Woodbury took sixth place overall.
South St. Paul earned the team championship trophy, while gold, silver, and bronze medals went to those who finished in the top three of each flight.
East Ridge won gold at three of the eight flights in the match.
Natalie Robinson took first place at fourth singles, Mueller and Anderson earned first at No. 1 doubles, and Van and Jacobs earned the top spot at third doubles.
East Ridge took on SEC foe Cretin-Derham Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 20, after the Bulletin went to print. Next, the Raptors travel to Forest Lake on Thursday, Sept. 22, to face off with the Rangers.
“Cretin Derham Hall on Tuesday should be a tough grind it out match,” Rydberg said. “Forest Lake on Thursday will also be tough as they are one of the best teams in our conference.”