Sweat beaded up on Independent senior Anna Riedmiller’s face Saturday, due mostly to temperatures in the low 90s on the tennis courts at Collegiate.
That sweat wasn’t likely caused by her matches, as she steamrolled her way through competitors and won the individual singles title at the Collegiate Classic.
Riedmiller’s power game quickly eliminated her opponents, capped by an 8-1 triumph in the final over Bishop Carroll sophomore Brittany Steven. In her three matches before the final, she dropped just one game – to Steven’s cousin, Brayden, in a second-round match.
Riedmiller took her dominance in stride.
“I just go out there, focus, and if the score turns out to be that, then it is,” she said.
She said her strategy was to elevate her game and make good judgments.
“Going after good balls, being patiently aggressive and being consistent,” Riedmiller said.
Panthers coach Simon Norman found little to criticize in Riedmiller’s performance.
“She played well,” he said. “She did a good job. She had to come out and get it done, and as usual, she stays focused and gets it done.”
He said he’s seen a lot of progress in the time he has had her at Independent.
“She hits a lot stronger off the ground,” he said. “Her serve’s improving all the time, and she has the confidence to come into the net and finish points, which she didn’t used to do awhile back.
“She’s become a much more complete player. She doesn’t have to just win by out-rallying the other person, she’s got a big forehand, her serve is coming along well, and she can come in and volley.”
Riedmiller said that one of her goals is to get Norman a Class 3-2-1A team title. Independent is the tournament host this year at Riverside.
Norman said that was by design.
“I nominated to host for it because of Anna,” he said. “She’s been out of town (for state) for three years (Pratt, Dodge City and Kansas City), and I said Anna needs to play where her friends and family can come and see her because she has been a fantastic example for the school and for tennis.”
Collegiate amassed the highest team score Saturday with 89 points, edging out Notre Dame de Sion of Kansas City, Mo., by four points. Riedmiller helped Independent to fourth place with 69 points, one point behind Carroll.
Norman cited the scoring from the doubles team of juniors Winnie Shaw and Sidney Hicks, who finished 10th, and freshman Sensey Cadman, who was 10th in singles.
Collegiate benefited from a runner-up doubles finish by sophomore Hannah Geoffroy and senior Greer Cody and a third-place finish in doubles from sophomore Lauren Conrad and Riley Ruffin, as well as a fourth-place finish in singles by sophomore Sydney Lair.
Team scores – 1. Collegiate Blue, 89; 2. Notre Dame De Sion (Mo.) 85; 3. Bishop Carroll, 70; 4. Independent, 69; 5. Maize, 63; 6. Blue Valley West, 62; 7. Kapaun Mount Carmel, 59; 8. Bishop Miege, 54; 9. St. Thomas Aquinas, 48; 10. Maize South, 26; 11. Collegiate Gold, 11; 12. Trinity Academy, 8.
First place – Riedmiller, Ind, def. Brit. Steven, BC, 8-1. Third place – Staats, BV West, def. Lair, Coll, 8-7 (7-2); Fifth place – Bray. Steven, BC, def. Kurzban, BV West, 8-6; Seventh place – Gibson, Miege, def. Myrick, ND, 8-2.
First place – Henne-Jones, ND, def. Geoffroy-Cody, Coll, 8-2. Third place – Conrad-Ruffin, Coll, def. Ciccolari-Micaldi-House, KMC, 8-7 (7-0). Fifth place – Trouve-Byers, ND, def. Baldwin-Crowdus, KMC, 8-6. Seventh place – Utech-Wituk, Maize, def. Cunningham-Adams, Maize, 8-6.