St. Anthony's John D'Alessandro finally can call himself a champion.
Having lost the previous two CHSAA individual singles title matches, the top-seeded junior got over the hump and beat No. 2 Rich Mitchell of Kellenberg, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, winning the final four games Monday to close out the match.
"It feels pretty amazing,'' D'Alessandro said. "I wasn't able to get the win the last two years but I got it now and I'm pretty happy. It's like a weight lifted off my shoulders.''
Said St. Anthony's coach Rich Roslund: "He stayed composed in that third set, did a great job and just gutted it out. I'm really happy for him and incredibly proud.''
After trading sets in which the players totaled 10 service breaks, D'Alessandro pulled away in the third with another key break and a crucial hold.
At 2-2, D'Alessandro broke again to go ahead 3-2, winning back-to-back points at 30-30 on a long rally that featured two rainbow lobs, and another with a pair of quick volleys.
D'Alessandro held serve to go up 4-2, and closed the match by taking advantage of Mitchell's second serve and controlling play at the net.
"I really have been working on my volleys a lot so coming to the net has been a big part of my game lately,'' D'Alessandro said.
In the doubles final, Chaminade's Cameron Posillico and Rich Spinelli came back from a set down to beat St. Anthony's Chris Granito and Josh Brown, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (2).
The last nine games of the third set went to the non-serving pair. In the third-set tiebreak, Spinelli had three overhand volley winners that put Chaminade ahead 1-0, 4-1, and 5-1 to help seal the championship.
"I had to be aggressive,'' Spinelli said. "We were having long points all match and we wanted to put it away fast.''
Said Posillico: "I really felt we had to dig in and keep it up and keep trying our best. It feels great.''