The two tennis titans in the Blue Water Area collided at Sanborn Park.
The Port Huron Northern and St. Clair boys tennis teams renewed their friendly rivalry on Monday, and it was the Huskies that started their week on the right foot with a 6-2 win. That puts Northern at 2-0 in the MAC Red while the Saints start the conference season at 0-1.
With wins in No. 1 and No. 3 singles, the team victory came in the doubles as the Huskies swept all four of those matches for the first time this season.
“St. Clair is a solid team and I thought overall we played pretty well,” Northern’s first-year head coach Chris Smith said. “It could have gone either way if you look at the scores … and some of our doubles teams played better than they have all season.”
On the No. 1 singles court, Northern’s Chris Adams topped Seth Pinnoo in a 6-0, 6-0 match to continue his already-successful season. However, not all of Adams’ wins have come against opponents as familiar as Pinnoo.
“He’s a big hitter,” Adams said of Pinnoo. “He can hit lots of winners and he can control the point. When he gets hot, he can string some points together.”
The No. 2 singles match was the thriller of the day as Eli Pinnoo – Seth’s younger brother – won a three-set match against John Betrus, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Despite the team dropping its first MAC Red conference match, Saints head coach Dave Clutts liked the relentless attitude displayed by his squad.
“Our kids played tough,” Clutts said. “They hung in their matches and I was really, really impressed with Eli at two (singles).”
Nishaan Makim picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win for Northern in No. 3 singles, beating John Mason. St. Clair also got a win from Troy Distelrath at No. 4 singles, topping Chase Moeller, 6-2, 6-1.
“(Distelrath) has lost one match the whole season, and it was close,” Clutts said. “We have a strong singles lineup and we rely on those guys, so our focus is on the doubles teams.
The Huskies doubles teams started rolling with Paul Brettschneider and Alex Walton teaming up for a 6-2, 7-5 No. 1 doubles win over Griffin Vigneron and Joe Marcath. Abhishek Tekumulla and Neehal Tumma won the No. 2 doubles match in two sets, 6-3, 6-0 to beat Ethan Knott and Ethan Urban.
Gabe Ferguson and Ammar Hussan had a three-set win in No. 3 doubles, 2-6, 6-4, 6-0, over Ben Mogulec and Easton Edgington to keep the Huskies rolling. No. 4 doubles was taken by Ben Walton and George Naguib, topping Chad Maben and Ryan Marino in a 6-2, 6-2 match.