AP NEWS

Dallas Duo Finishes 4th

May 26, 2019

Dallas coach Joe Pugliese said he didn’t know what to expect from his doubles team of John Toussaint and Alex DeRome when they entered the Hershey Racquet Club for the PIAA boys doubles tennis tournament.

What he got was a fantastic weekend and the best performance from WVC athletes in over a decade.

Toussaint and DeRome earned a fourth-place finish to close out their junior years.

After winning two matches on Friday, the Dallas duo dropped their semifinal 6-1, 7-5 to Wyomissing’s James Pottieger and Will Schreck, the eventual state champions.

Their season closed out as they dropped a heartbreaker for third-place to Robbie Shaff and Cyrus Elmi of Moravian Academy, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

“Getting down to the states, we didn’t know what to expect,” Pugliese said. “It was a pleasant surprise to get through those first two rounds. We had a tight match with the eventual state champions, actually had a set point the second set, but ended up losing 7-5. We had a close three-set match for third place. The guys really showed they belong there.”

Toussaint and DeRome’s performance was the highest finish for a WVC team at states since Dallas’ Drew Slocum and Mark Covert finished as runners-up in 2007.

Pugliese said the two have worked on their all-around games.

“The good thing is this, they worked pretty hard all season long starting in the preseason on their whole game,” he said. “At the net, serving, their whole game was really coming together at the end of the season.”

Toussaint and DeRome were the top two singles players for Dallas this season. Pugliese said the way they meshed together as a team was no surprise considering the work they, and the rest of the Mountaineers, put in together.

“They work very well together, getting together in the offseason on their own,” Pugliese said. “They get together a lot over the summer and offseason, they’ll get together and play together, play against each other. They also enjoy playing doubles. They got to learn the doubles game a lot better. As a coach, I stress doubles and positioning in doubles and where they need to be at the right time.”

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