Dallas wins first district title in boys tennis

By Tom Robinson - and Jay Monahan - For Dallas Post
John Toussaint of Dallas returns against Scranton Preps Jack Habeeb in the District 2 team finals at Kirby Park. - Fred Adams | For Dallas Post
Dallas sophomore Dom Rizzo eyes up the ball during a tennis match against Holy Cross at the Wyoming Valley Indoor Tennis Club in Kingston. - Fred Adams | For Dallas Post
Dallas sophomore Alex DeRome serves the ball during a match against Holy Cross at the Wyoming Valley Indoor Tennis Club in Kingston. - Fred Adams | For Dallas Post

KINGSTON – While other schools used the District 2 boys tennis postseason to advance players further in the singles brackets, Dallas had to wait for the completion of the team tournament to show off the depth that made the Mountaineers the only unbeaten team in the district this season.

Getting wins from its third singles and first doubles positions on both days, Dallas pulled out tense victories over Lackawanna League opponents May 10 and 11 to win the Class 2A title, the school’s first district team championship in tennis.

The Mountaineers defeated Holy Cross, 3-0, in the semifinals to end a lengthy day of waiting before finally playing at the Wyoming Valley Indoor Tennis Club when the match was moved from Kirby Park.

Dallas then outlasted Scranton Prep, 3-2, in the May 11 final at Kirby Park.

Dom Rizzo won at third singles in both matches, losing just five games in four sets, to remain undefeated on the season.

“He’s been dominant at number-three singles this year,” Dallas coach Joe Pugliese said. “He’s just that type of player that most people are going to hate to play.

“He’ll always keep the ball in play, can move people around and really wear people down.”

Mike Roginski and Matt Dillon formed the winning combination at first doubles in both matches, winning all but six games in their four sets.

“Number-one doubles has really been my strong point this year,” Pugliese said. “I have enough talent and go deep enough that I was able to put guys there that are real aggressive players that can take over the net.

“Mark Roginski has a really good serve. That helps the doubles manage to really pick off a lot of points at the net.”

The Mountaineers won the title with three sophomores occupying the singles spots in the lineup. Both doubles teams are made up of two seniors.

Dallas advanced into the state tournament where it was eliminated with Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Central Columbia in Williamsport.

Doubles tournament play was delayed by weather and moved back to May 17-18 at Kirby Park.

Dallas 3

Holy Cross 0

Rizzo and the Roginski-Dillon team won quickly in the semifinals.

Then, the fun started.

With Dallas needing just one more victory to reach the final, all three matches, being played simultaneously, extended into third sets.

First singles player John Toussaint rallied to secure the victory with a 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 7-5 win over Logan Gregory.

Alex DeRome, at second singles, and Joe Fioti-Pat Yurish, at second doubles, had moved into leads in tight matches when the semifinal was halted after Toussaint’s victory.

Dallas 3

Scranton Prep 2

Both teams had wrapped up two points, leaving all eyes on the conclusion of the second singles match where Alex DeRome delivered the title for Dallas with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Rhys Kelly.

“Usually, it’s only my mom watching me,” DeRome said. “But with everyone out there supporting me when I win a point, it really gets me alive.

“It made me want to finish the match strong.”

DeRome fell behind, 3-2, in the decisive set before winning the last four games to make Dallas the first public school to ever win the District 2 Class 2A team championship in boys tennis.

John Toussaint of Dallas returns against Scranton Preps Jack Habeeb in the District 2 team finals at Kirby Park.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_dal_sp1_faa-1.jpgJohn Toussaint of Dallas returns against Scranton Preps Jack Habeeb in the District 2 team finals at Kirby Park. Fred Adams | For Dallas Post

Dallas sophomore Dom Rizzo eyes up the ball during a tennis match against Holy Cross at the Wyoming Valley Indoor Tennis Club in Kingston.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL051118Tennis1.jpgDallas sophomore Dom Rizzo eyes up the ball during a tennis match against Holy Cross at the Wyoming Valley Indoor Tennis Club in Kingston. Fred Adams | For Dallas Post

Dallas sophomore Alex DeRome serves the ball during a match against Holy Cross at the Wyoming Valley Indoor Tennis Club in Kingston.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL051118Tennis2.jpgDallas sophomore Alex DeRome serves the ball during a match against Holy Cross at the Wyoming Valley Indoor Tennis Club in Kingston. Fred Adams | For Dallas Post

By Tom Robinson

and Jay Monahan

For Dallas Post

Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-991-6387 or by email at news@mydallaspost.com.

Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-991-6387 or by email at news@mydallaspost.com.