GROSSE POINTE - The only thing hotter than the weather the night of Sept. 11 was the start that the boys tennis team from Grosse Pointe South got off to in their match with its crosstown rivals from Grosse Pointe North.
The Blue Devils raced out to a 5-0 lead and wound up taking six of the eight matches to claim a 6-2 victory against North.
In the No.1 singles match, South junior Nicholas Paolucci set the tone for his team by winning in straight sets without dropping a game. South swept the first set in all of the singles matches, something that South coach John Willard was very important to accomplish given the heat index that neared 100 degrees.
“That was huge for the singles players to get ahead. I told each one of them that they would be battling today, that there were going to be some close matches in singles, and those guys came out ready to play, and that helped them with their confidence to win the second set,” Willard said.
North’s Matthew Kain provided the bright spot for the Norsemen in singles competition, as he rallied to win his match after dropping the first set. After struggling to put points away in the first set, Kain said that he changed his strategy to wear down his opponent.
“I just stuck with grinding it out, that’s how I win most of my matches. I was trying to put away all of his lobs in the first set and that wasn’t working, so I decided that I could do this all day. That was my strategy in the second and third set … so I just stuck with that,” Kain said.
South went on to win three of the four doubles matches, as well, winning at No. 1, No. 3, and No. 4.