Colchester connection

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St. Michael's College senior Riley Kuger, a Colchester High School grad, prepares for a backhand during a match against St. Anselm on September 7. Kruger picked up the clinching win in the Purple Knights' 6-3 win, the first for head coach Mark Ellingson, who's also the girls head coach at nearby Colchester High School. (Photo by James Buck)

St. Michael’s College senior Riley Kuger, a Colchester High School grad, prepares for a backhand during a match against St. Anselm on September 7. Kruger picked up the clinching win in the Purple Knights’ 6-3 win, the first for head coach Mark Ellingson, who’s also the girls head coach at nearby Colchester High School. (Photo by James Buck)

The St. Michael’s College women’s tennis team picked up its first conference win of the season in dramatic fashion, rallying from a 2-3 deficit to take the final four matches and down visiting St. Anselm College 6-3 on September 7.

Along with starting conference play on a high note, the match carried added significance for head coach Mark Ellingson.

The victory was Ellingson’s first as head coach of the Purple Knights after taking over the job in the spring.

Despite the St. Michael’s coaching post being his first collegiate position, Ellingson is no stranger to Colchester’s tennis scene; he’s coached the Colchester High School girls program for the past eight years.

The kicker?

Riley Kruger, a senior from Colchester, is in her second year on the St. Michael’s squad. She picked up the match’s clinching victory in a dominant 6-1, 6-2 performance in the No. 5 seed. She also notched her fist doubles win.

Thus, four years after Kruger played her final tennis match for CHS under Ellingon’s tutelage, she helped her former coach earn his first W in the college ranks.