By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Baker University tennis coach Joe Ahmadian hopes he has started a pipeline to Enid High School.
As a rookie coach three years ago, he signed Plainsman Devin Glasgow, his current No. 3 singles player.
Wednesday he added to it, signing Acer Lulu Ruding, a three-time state placer.
“She has the potential to step into the lineup right away,’’ Ahmadian said. “I’m hoping to build a pipeline into a really good program. People like Devin and Lulu contribute a lot to a program like ours.
“We’re very excited to get her. She’s not only a good player, but a good student and a good person.’’
Ruding credited Glasgow for pointing her to Baker. She had considered attending Oklahoma State University or the University of Oklahoma as a student.
“He just introduced me to it,’’ Ruding said. “I’m ready to go, but I’m also very nervous. I know Devin will keep an eye on me. It makes me a little less nervous knowing he’s there.’’
She said the school was a good fit for her academically and athletically, allowing her to pursue other interests while still playing tennis.
“We have a good team here and I know we will have a good team there,’’ Ruding said. “I hope I can play right away. The facilities are good.’’
Ruding and Savannah Blasi were third in the state at No. 2 doubles this year with an 18-2 record.
“I wanted to do better,’’ Ruding said. “I wish I had done better. I was really nervous under all of the pressure. We still had a good year.’’
The year was a little stressful for Ruding, who was battling old doubles partner Madison Blevins for the final spot in the EHS lineup. The two were 21-9 as a team last year and were fifth in the state at No. 2 doubles.
“It was tough, but we worked it out,’’ Ruding said.
“It was hard on both girls,’’ said EHS coach Darrell Herndon. “It was stressful, but both of them handled it well.’’
Ruding was seventh at state at No. 2 singles as a sophomore with a 15-10 record. She had a 41-13 career doubles record and a 27-16 career singles record.
“I’m going to miss all the girls,’’ Ruding said. “We’re so close.’’
Ruding is the lone Acer to sign a college letter.
“I’m very excited for her to continue playing,’’ Herndon said. “My own daughter (Heather) played at a smaller school (William Woods) and she had the time of her life. They were able to devote more personal attention to her. I hope Lulu gets the same enjoyment.’’