A year after finishing runner-up at the Public League tournament, Northside finally broke through.
The Mustangs won their first ever boys tennis Public League title by defeating Lane 3-1 in the championship, Saturday at Tuley Park.
“At the beginning of the year we knew we had a solid team and we worked hard,” Northside coach Alex Hughes said. “We just kept telling ourselves that this was the year and we held true to our word.”
Northside was leading the match 2-1 when the No. 1 doubles team of Maxwell Brusil and Alejandro Ballesteros clinched the title with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Austin Handler and Lucas Petrakis.
“I thought we were going to get second place because no one looked happy, but that’s because they thought we were down,” Ballesteros said. “We didn’t know what was happening until we won our match and everyone started cheering.
“It’s a great feeling. Last season we had a lot of talent and finished runner-up. We set out to win city this year and worked hard every day in practice. It finally paid off, so we’re pretty happy right now.”
Also getting straight set wins for the Mustangs were the No. 3 doubles team of Slav Djukic and Philip Abraham 6-2, 6-1 over Patric Hruswicki and Patrick Begalowski as well as No. 2 singles player Kirby Julian 6-1, 6-0 over Shawn Logan. The No. 2 doubles match between Northside’s Michael Walt and Louie Asimow and Lane’s Mitchell Stoops and Sasha Salk was stopped once the Mustangs clinched. The Indians had won the first set 7-6 (8).
Lane’s lone win came from Yahn Gawrit who defeated Northside’s Caleb Broughton-Delong 6-0, 6-1.
“We had a chance today,” Gawrit said. “Northside changed up their lineup and that gave them an advantage. But we managed to do a lot better this season than we thought. I think we’ve had a great season overall.”
Gawrit can get some consolation from the fact that he’s dominated his competition in the city. He won the singles city championship last weekend, is a perfect 16-0 and outscored his three opponents this weekend 36 games to 1.
“For the past three years it’s been tough to get to the [singles] finals and this year I was lucky to win individual city,” Gawrit said. “It’s always been my goal to win the city title. It’s meaningful to me because I got to show my school that [Lane] tennis is doing well and it shows that all the hard work paid off.”