GROSSE POINTE, Mich. - With some key regional seeds on the line Thursday afternoon, De La Salle Collegiate came through in the clutch, defeating Grosse Pointe South, 6-2, in a dual match played on the Norsemen's home courts.
In stark contrast to what happened between the two teams at the Grosse Pointe North Quad less than a month ago, the Pilots dominated in singles to run away with the victory.
Junior Joseph Janusch, who won in straight sets the first time he faced North, cruised again on Thursday, picking up a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Ethan Michalski at No. 2 singles. Senior Robert Shiner, who had easily defeated North's Simon Stallings in their first match, won by default.
It was at Nos. 3-4 singles where the Pilots flipped the script from the two teams' first meeting. Junior Alek Beginin topped North's Alex Muawad, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3, while junior Steve Lubera, who had lost in three sets against the Norsemen the first time around, defeated Henry Rozewicz, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
"Alek, my automatic, was missing in the first match," De La Salle head coach Matt Fisher said. "He was there today and took care of business."
In doubles action, the Pilots held their own, splitting the four matches with the Norsemen.
Seniors Matthew Zanot and Gabriel Kirck rolled at No. 2 doubles, knocking off Jonathan Hartley and Adam Naimo, 6-4, 6-1. Juniors Matthew Kostuch and Luke Boldman won a tight, 7-5, 7-6 (5) match at No. 4, over Sahith Nannapaneni and James Moussiaux. That was a flight the Pilots dropped in the first meeting.
Seniors Paul Didio and Andrew Janusch fell at No. 1 doubles, while seniors Parker Kuchulan and Deven Sheth fell at No. 3.
The two teams are once again the favorites at the Division 2 regional tournament, which will be held at North on Oct. 11. The Pilots won the regional a year ago.
DE LA SALLE 6, GROSSE POINTE NORTH 2
SINGLES: Robert Shiner, DLS, won by default; Joseph Janusch, DLS, d. Zach Rockwell, 6-0, 6-1; Alek Beginin, DLS, d. Alex Muawad, 6-2, 6-3; Steve Lubera, DLS, d. Henry Rozewicz, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
DOUBLES: Charlie Ramsdell-Mitchell Mills, GPN, d. Paul Didio-Andrew Janusch, 6-1, 6-0; Matthew Zanotti-Gabriel Kirck, DLS, d. Jonathan Hartley-Adam Naimo, 6-4, 6-1; Luke Deskin-Ben Zoia, GPN, d. Parker Kuchulan-Deven Sheth, 6-2, 6-2; Matthew Kostuch-Luke Boldman, DLS, d. Sahith Nannapaneni-James Moussiaux, 7-5, 7-6 (5)