Galeton’s Dugan, Shadle defeat Hughesville duo for title

Last week Galeton’s Tyler Dugan fell just short of reaching the district singles championship, when he lost a tough match in the semifinals to eventual champion David Rodenhizer of Towanda.

Monday, Dugan and his teammate Dakota Shadle found a way to relieve some of the sting from that painful defeat – by winning a little more gold of their own.

The duo put on an impressive showing, as they topped Hughesville’s Josh Fry and Mitchel Thomas, 6-0, 6-4, earning the District 4 Class AA doubles championship in front of a packed house at the West Branch Tennis Club in South Williamsport. Both teams will advance to the PIAA state tournament on May, 23.

The victory came on the heals of Galeton’s District 4 Class AA team championship, which it earned last Tuesday with a win over Selinsgrove.

“This was our goal at the beginning of the season, to be district champions,” Dugan said. “It was tough, but we did it.”

Dugan and Shadle entered the championship match with an obvious confidence that radiated through the opening set. After winning a hard-fought first game, the two continued to roll through the next five, routinely stopping Hughesville rallies dead in their tracks. The pair really started finding a groove towards the end of the set, as Dugan established nice groundstrokes that set Shadle up for emphatic overhead smashes around the net; which was a formula the two would use through the rest of the match.

“After that first set we thought we had it, but we didn’t want to take it too easy,” Shadle said. “They are a good duo, but we were just more consistent early on.”

As the second set started, Fry and Thomas settled in and took the first two games by making nice defensive shots and playing smart around the net. However, that didn’t last long, as Dugan and Shadle took five of the next seven games by luring Fry and Thomas into ill-advised shots.

“We started to get a little bit nervous, but we just stayed focused and found ways to win,” said Dugan. “We wanted to have them make errors before we did.”

Dugan and Shadle finished things off as smoothly as they began, with a 40-0 win in the last game, which was capped with yet another devastating overhead delivered by shadle. It was the exclamation point on what was a nearly flawless performance.

“I am ecstatic, and so proud of them.” Galeton head coach Daniel Brelo said. “They work hard, they communicate well with each other, and they play with a lot of heart. They deserve to be where they are today.

“I told them that there isn’t any reason they can’t be doubles champions, and now they are,” said Brelo.

For as excited as he was about the win, Brelo was also excited at the thought of being able to develop Dugan’s game over the next two years, as he is only in his sophomore season.

“I have big plans for him, there is no rest for the weary,” said Brelo. “There is a lot of his game that I want to see him improve on, even if he is already very strong player now.”

Dugan and Shadle advanced to finals after a 7-5, 7-6, (7-3), win over Selinsgrove’s team of Rob Smith and Theron Frave, while Hughesville beat Galeton’s No. 2 team of Mitchell Smith and Eli Trimbur, 6-0, 6-4.