Legacy’s Janes, South team capture tennis titles
GRAND FORKS — When Michael Janes lost the first set in the North Dakota state boys singles championship, he wasn’t surprised.
The Bismarck Legacy senior expected a tight battle with Grand Forks Central’s Gary Wu.
“I was frustrated,” Janes said, “but I just knew I had to keep fighting to get back in there.”
Janes did that.
He rallied from down a set to beat Wu 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13, in Choice Health and Fitness.
“It feels great,” Janes said. “I’m happy everyone was here to see it and cheer me on. It was great.”
The win completed a perfect season for Janes, who lost in last year’s state singles championship to Fargo South’s Davis Lawley, who now plays for Omaha.
Janes had a couple of close calls against Wu, though.
Janes and Wu played a three-set match in the championship of the team tournament on Thursday at Choice Health and Fitness. Janes outlasted Wu in that one, too.
“I knew coming in it was possible that it could go three sets,” Janes said. “I had to work hard. Gary plays me so tough. I knew he’d play me tough and that’s exactly what he did. I knew I had to earn it. I just stayed mentally tough and tried to play a consistent game and it worked out.”
Janes also was named the senior athlete of the year.
Youngs, Olson win doubles title
Geoffrey Youngs and Max Olson came close a year ago.
They were one game away — two points away — from a North Dakota state boys doubles championship.
But after letting that one slip away in a third-set tiebreaker, Youngs and Olson made sure it wouldn’t happen again.
The Fargo South juniors rolled through the state doubles tournament without losing a set, beating Grand Forks Red River’s Kaden Johnson and Jack Lindgren 7-6 (5), 6-2 in the championship Saturday afternoon at Choice Health and Fitness.
“I’m so happy right now, I don’t even know what to think,” said Youngs, a junior. “I’m just so happy we pulled it out.”
Johnson had been a part of state title doubles teams the past two years, including the one that rallied against Youngs and Olson last season.
But Youngs and Olson were the dominant team throughout the season. They won the East Region doubles title a week earlier and became Fargo South’s first state doubles champions since John Bennett and Mike Wilhelm in 1996.
“I felt like we had to win,” Olson said. “We were so close last year. We played so much in the offseason. We had to.”
Playing on the exact same court as they did a year earlier, the Bruins built a 5-0 lead on the Roughriders in the first set. Red River rallied to force a tiebreaker, but South won it 7-5.
“We just played good doubles,” Youngs said. “We got to the net, we played aggressive, we made some good cross-court returns and just played well overall.
“We really wanted this after losing last year.”