MALINI WIJESINGHE, Apple Valley • tennis
There’s a candor to Malini Wijesinghe that is hard to deny. The Apple Valley senior, who beat Prior Lake’s Savanna Crowell 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 to win the Section 3, 2A singles championship and extend her undefeated season, doesn’t soften the truth.
With an eye toward collegiate tennis in her future, she knows the high school season is less important than her time spent playing USTA (United States Tennis Association) tennis.
Most of the time, that is.
“My high school season was very limited in terms of the kinds of players I saw, so I guess USTA is more important in the long-term,” she said. “But [winning the section championship] has been my goal since the beginning of the season, and I’ve worked pretty hard during the season, so it means a lot.”
Wijesinghe has added aggressiveness to her game, moving away from her defensive baseline style in hopes of making a deep run in the Class 2A singles tournament, which begins Thursday.
“I had to take some steps backward in order to become more aggressive, but my goal is to be at my best [for the tournament],” she said. “I think it will help me to play at top capacity.”
APRIL BOCKIN, Eden Prairie • soccer
The Ms. Soccer finalist and future Gopher was her usual high-scoring self in leading the Eagles to the Section 2, 2A championship. She scored six of the team’s eight playoff goals, including the winner in a 1-0 victory over Prior Lake in the final.
ADAM BUIRGE, Park Center • Football
The ultra-quick Buirge showed his versatility and value in helping the Pirates even their record to 4-4 with a 35-21 victory over Irondale. He scored three touchdowns, all in different ways: a 10-yard reception, a 92-yard kickoff return and a 28-yard interception return.
TAYLOR COTTEW, Minneapolis Washburn • soccer
No team has scored since Aug. 28 on the No. 1, Class 1A Millers, who play Princeton in the Class 1A quarterfinals Wednesday. Cottew, a sophomore goalkeeper, was vital as the last line of defense, stopping all 16 shots she faced in three Section 3, 1A playoff games.
JACKSON ERDMANN, Rosemount • football
Consider this recognition for cumulative play in which the senior quarterback passed for 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns for the undefeated Irish. He closed the regular season by going 11-for-18 for 157 yards and three touchdowns in a 50-8 rout of Shakopee.
WILL KIDD, St. Paul Como Park • Soccer
The senior forward and Mr. Soccer finalist lifted the defending Class 1A champion Cougars to another state tournament berth. He scored the Golden Goal in a 1-0 victory over Minneapolis Washburn and assisted on both goals in a 2-1 victory over Blake in the Section 3 final.
MOLLY MCMAHON, St. Paul Highland Park • volleyball
A pair of three-set victories helped the Scots finish the St. Paul City conference season with a perfect 12-0 record and the league title. In the two matches, she had 11 kills, six ace serves, six digs and two blocks.