PLATTSBURGH — The Section VII New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) qualifier for boys’ and the Section VII Individual Tournament for girls’ crowned its champions Tuesday.
Saranac’s Shawn Bissonette went back-to-back, claiming his second consecutive boys’ singles title.
After defeating Johnny McAuliffe of Peru 6-1 and 6-2 in the semifinals, the top-seeded senior knocked off Northeastern Clinton’s Ryan Marks in the finals, 6-2 and 6-1.
“Two times in a row — not many people do it,” Bissonette said. “And from Saranac, where tennis isn’t very popular. I’m very happy I won.”
The championships were delayed multiple times before first round, second round and quarterfinal action got underway Monday.
Bissonette said the key to his success was his mental approach.
“You’ve just got to have the mental capabilities to push through it,” Bissonette said. “Those four rain delays were tough, but you just have to get out there and hit your shots.”
The NYSPHSAA accepts the top three qualifiers from both boys’ singles and doubles.
After besting McAuliffe in the semifinals, Bissonette said he had some comfort knowing he would automatically advance to state play, giving him an opportunity to focus on the championship.
“It felt great beating (McAuliffe) because we play all winter, and we play all the time together,” Bissonette said. “I was really glad I could pull through, too. It’s always close between me and him.”
Marks, who nabbed runner-up status, knocked off Bissonette during the regular season, but was unable to steal a set in the championship bout.
“I wanted revenge from the (regular) season,” Bissonette said. “I just brought it. Shots fell in, so I pulled through.”
Bissonette, who also won a doubles championship his sophomore year, outscored his opponents 48-7 and never lost a single set during two days of play.
McAuliffe eliminated Peru’s Peter Daly 6-0, 7-6 and (7-0) to win the consolation match, advancing to the state tournament.
Top-seeded McKenna Hunter and Adam Khater of Northeastern Clinton earned the boys’ doubles championship, defeating teammates Austin Tetreault and Brendan Boutin in two sets, 6-3 and 6-2.
The two were upended in the championship match a season ago by Lake Placid’s Nick Stosiek and Alex Kelinek, 6-4, 2-6 and 6-4.
“It’s emotional,” Hunter said. “Last year, we lost in the finals. This year, to take it home, especially for me being a senior, it’s kind of awesome.”
Khater said it was a little strange playing his teammates, who knocked off second-seeded Kyle Kemp and Patrick Demarais of Peru in the quarterfinals, but was gratifying.
“It feels great,” Khater said. “I mean, both of us worked hard this season and over the offseason last year. It just feels nice it paid off.”
Plattsburgh High’s Chris Gray and seventh grader Brendan Whalen advanced to the state tournament after fending off teammates Adam Dodge and Guillermo Saguar, winning the third-place match, 6-1 and 6-3.
Bissonette, Marks, McAuliffe, Hunter, Khater, Tetreault, Boutin, Gray and Whalen begin first-round play at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Thursday.
After being upset in last year’s girls’ singles championship 7-5 and 6-3 by Peru’s Abby Higgins, Plattsburgh High’s Marle Curle hoped for a shot at revenge.
The senior was able to do so in thrilling fashion, outdueling Georgia O’Leary of Lake Placid in a marathon via tiebreaker, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 and (10-8).
“I started off really strong and then I went into a lull,” Curle said. “But I’m glad I pulled it out in the third set. She’s really good. It’s definitely vindicating.”
O’Leary, who transferred to Lake Placid from Northwood Prep, defeated Curle handily during the regular season, 6-1 and 6-1.
“It was definitely good to come back and get a win,” Curle said. “Early in the season, I didn’t even know that she had been playing for Lake Placid. So, when I went in to play Lake Placid, I was definitely shocked because she’s an amazing player. It kind of gave me a reality check, and I’m just glad I got to win (Tuesday).”
Because girls’ tennis is played during the fall statewide, the NYSPHSAA does not recognize a state tournament during the spring.
However, Beekmantown’s Olivia Wyand defeated Margaret Mitchell of Peru in three sets to finish third, 6-4, 3-6 and 6-4.
Northeastern Clinton’s Abbie Miller and Jenna LaValley were crowned champions of the girls’ doubles bracket, claiming a two-set sweep (6-4 and 6-1) over Seton Catholic’s Alyse Clark and Lauren Richter.
“It was interesting coming into it because we play singles,” LaValley said. “So, we’ve never played together and stuff, but it was fun. (Miller) was a No. 1 singles player throughout the year, and I was competing at No. 2.”
Clark and Richter advanced to the finals after eliminating Sarah Babbie and Morgan Rabideau of Northeastern Clinton in the semifinals, 5-7, 6-2 and 6-3.
Lake Placid’s Victoria O’Leary and Grace McGrew earned a third-place finish, besting Babbie and Rabideau in the consolation round, 6-0 and 7-5.
Bissonette (S) def. Marks (NCCS), 6-2, 6-1.
McAuliffe (P) def. Daly (P), 6-0, 7-6, (7-0).
Bissonette (S) def. McAuliffe (P), 6-1, 6-2.
Marks (NCCS) def. Daly (P), 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
Hunter/Khater (NCCS) def. Tetreault/Boutin (NCCS), 6-3, 6-2.
Gray/Whalen (PHS) def. Dodge/Saguar (PHS), 6-1, 6-3.
Hunter/Khater (NCCS) def. Gray/Whalen (PHS), 6-3, 6-3.
Tetreault/Boutin (NCCS) def. Dodge/Saguar (PHS), 6-3, 6-2.
Curle (PHS) def. O’Leary (LP), 6-3, 1-6, 7-6, (10-8).
Wyand (B) def. Mitchell (P), 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Curle (PHS) def. Wyand (B), 6-3, 6-0.
O’Leary (LP) def. Mitchell (P), 6-2, 6-2.
Miller/LaValley (NCCS) def. Clark/Richter (SC), 6-4, 6-1.
O’Leary/McGrew (LP) def. Rabideau/Babbie (NCCS), 6-0, 7-5.
Miller/LaValley (NCCS) def. O’Leary/McGrew (LP), 6-0, 6-0.
Clark/Richter (SC) def. Rabideau/Babbie (NCCS), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.