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Central Catholic's Blasinsky, Sewickley Academy's Ross win WPIAL singles titles

| Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 8:39 p.m.

As one champion ended his WPIAL tennis career on top, another burst onto the scene.

Central Catholic senior Adam Blasinsky defended his title at the WPIAL Class AAA boys singles championship 6-2, 7-5 over Latrobe's Chad Kissell on Tuesday at Bethel Park, and Sewickley Academy freshman Luke Ross claimed the Class AA title, 7-6 (7-0), 6-0, over Josh Raymundo of Mars.

Blasinsky has more to prove before he continues his career at Duquesne next year. The repeat WPIAL title is just the first step in achieving his goal of being state champion.

“Last year, I lost in the state finals, and I'm trying to go one better this year,” Blasinsky said. “I trained a little harder and tried to work on being more patient and focusing in big situations.”

Ross, however, is excited just to be advancing to the state tournament in his first year of WPIAL play, following in the footsteps of his sister Caroline.

“I've already seen it and have experienced it even though I wasn't playing,” Ross said. “I just want to bring home something good for Western Pennsylvania and District 7.”

Players were fighting off more than just their opponents, as a strong wind affected their hitting.

“I was looking to hit it deep,” Ross said, “because in these conditions that's critical.”

The Class AA final was a rematch of the Section 3-AA final, where Ross also defeated Raymundo, 6-4, 6-7 (10-12), 6-2.

Blasinsky eliminated Kissell in last season's WPIAL tournament 10-0. Despite the familiarity, eliminating his heavy, hitting opponent wasn't as easy this time.

“The wind was a big factor,” Blasinsky said. “I had to adjust to Chad and his serve. He hits big.”

Kissell and Raymundo also advance to the PIAA tournament May 23-24 in Hershey. Carlynton's Luke Phillips qualified as well by defeating Bentworth's Matt Lynch in the Class AA consolation match. Central Catholic's Michael Santa-Lucia defeated Canon-McMillan's Chris Gladden in the Class AAA consolation.

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at ghorvath@tribweb.com.

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