Winning West Region tennis championships is nothing new to Michael Janes.
The Legacy High School junior and Brian Swanberg -- a 2017 Legacy graduate -- teamed up to win region doubles titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016. This year, Janes decided to throw his hat into the singles tournament, and the result was the same.
Janes defeated teammate Bradley Moylan in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0, Saturday afternoon at the Capital Racquet & Fitness Center to capture his first region singles championship. The No. 1 seed capped off a dominant tournament run, which included winning 48 of 51 games and all eight sets in four matches. He won five sets by a 6-0 score.
Janes, who also went 3-0 in singles play in the team tournament on Thursday, said he still enjoys playing doubles, but felt it was time for a change.
"I had done it long enough. I just wanted to try singles again," said Janes, who competed in the region singles tournament as a seventh-grader. "I had a good (regular season) and I felt that if I played well I would have success here, too. I felt good in all of my matches. I was able to go out and set the tone in all of them."
Janes certainly came out and set the tone against Moylan, the No. 2 seed. It was a 6-0, 6-0 victory, but Janes said his teammate is a top-notch player who has always brought out the best in him.
"We've gone against each other lots of times over the years ... in practice and during the offseason," Janes said. "Brad is a great player. He earned the number two seed and deserved a chance to play for the championship. When I play him I know he's going to bring it every time. He's highly competitive and he never gives up. I would say that going against him as many times as I have has made me a better player."
Janes went 6-0 against region opponents during the regular season, and his only singles loss was to Fargo South's Davis Lawley. Now it's on to the state tournament this week in Grand Forks.
"I'm focused more on the team tournament, actually, but I would like to make it to the championship match in singles," Janes said. "And it would be nice to get another chance at Hawley."
Moylan, a senior, advaced to the final with a come-from-behind 1-6, 6-1, 6-0 victory over Connor Mullowney of Jamestown.
In the doubles championship match on Saturday, No. 1-seeded Ronak Kumar and Mason Pitcher of Century trailed early, but rallied for a 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 victory over Connor Templeton and Mason Diehl of Minot. It was the first region title of any kind for Kumar and Pitcher, who are unbeaten as a doubles team this season.
Pitcher, a sophomore, said the early setback didn't affect their mindset.
"It was a loss, but it was only the first set," he said. "After a loss, you have to sit down, reset your mind, and try your best to win the next one. We were determined to win and we believed we could do it. Losing the first set didn't change that."
The second stanza was tied at 5-5, but Pitcher and Kumar took the next two games to force a third set. After back-to-back nail-biters, the Century pair was dominant, winning the first three games and the last three in a seven-game set.
"The second set was close, but winning the last two games gave us momentum," said Kumar, a senior. "We felt that we had taken control of the match, and it helped to win the first couple of games. We just trusted each other and took it one point at a time.
"We're excited to be playing in the state tournament," he continued. "We're feeling confident."
Kumar, Moylan, Mullowney and Charlie Wentz of Minot are the West Region nominees for Senior Athlete of the Year. The region's Coach of the Year honors went to Century's Dan Keith.
The state team tournament is scheduled for Thursday. The singles and doubles tournaments will be held Friday and Saturday.