Climbing to the Top in Tennis

Climbing+to+the+Top+in+Tennis

Ilene Park, Editor in Chief

Nikki Ridenour after winning first place in Sections

Nikki Ridenour ended a successful tennis season placing first in the Sections’ finals on October 19th and then proceeding to place fourth overall in the State Tournament after competing on October 28th and 29th. 

After completing her high school tennis season having only lost once and with a team record of 19 wins and two losses, Ridenour progressed to individual sections in her last year. 

She defeated Mari Meger from Mahtomedi Senior High School in the first round of Sections at White Bear Lake Lifetime Fitness and then won against Annika Munson, also from Mahtomedi Senior High, in a close match despite the immense stress. “When I played I definitely felt the pressure of being at Sections and being the first seed, making it a bit hard to focus,” she noted.

After Ridenour’s successes, her winning streak continued into the first couple rounds in the State Tournament. She then earned a victory against Bella Suk from The Blake school in the first match and then won the next round against Jeyasri Venkatasubrumani from Eastview Senior High. 

However, Ridenour eventually lost against Sarah Shabaz from Minnetonka High School in the semifinals. Ridenour suffered from a minor shoulder injury and was unable to play her consolation match which may have allowed her to achieve third place. Shabaz proceeded to win first place in State.

The tennis player expressed her dismay over the injury. “I’m glad I made it as far as I did, but I’m a little disappointed with my injury,” she said. “I didn’t get to play my last match ever in high school and that’s something I can’t get back.”

Ridenour will continue to play tennis for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York while majoring in biomedical engineering. She described her devising for the upcoming college season in the fall of 2022. “In preparation for college, I’m going to get my shoulder stronger and my fitness to the best it can be,” she said.

The Roseville Area High School tennis coach conveyed his pride in Ridenour’s achievements. “I am still incredibly proud of all that she has accomplished and the fact that she stayed with Roseville when she had offers to go elsewhere,” coach Bruce Hashimoto stated. 

Despite not achieving her goal to win first in State, Ridenour’s tennis career does not end there. She expressed her gratitude to her fellow teammates who went to support her at both Sections and State.

In regards to her future, Ridenour felt excitement for what lies ahead of her. “I’m excited for whatever my future holds.”