When Garrett Wright and Husam Zaidan lost the opening set of their first match, it seemed as if their season might end without a victory at the state tournament.
But if they learned anything at the district finals a week earlier, it was that a one-set deficit could be overcome.
And overcome it they did again.
The Wilsonville seniors regrouped against Portland-Benson seniors Peter Hoang and Kahliel Johnson, pulling off a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 comeback to advance to the doubles quarterfinals of the Class 5A boys tennis championships May 22-24 at Tualatin Hills Tennis Center in Beaverton.
It was not unlike their victory in the Northwest Oregon Conference semifinals, where they avenged a first-set loss to teammates Quinn Everts and Austin Miller en route to winning the district doubles title.
Wright and Zaidans phenomenal campaign came to an end against Crescent Valley juniors Lewis Shotton and Luka Soskic in the state quarterfinals, taking three games from the second-seeded duo in a 6-1, 6-2 setback.
I am so happy for these guys, as they have been partners for three seasons and you can see how they have improved each year and how all that work results in all-state second team honors, coach Matt Snyder said. I still remember Garrett and Husam walking of the court after the district tourney last season and Garrett angrily talking about how his senior year would be different and it was. They put in the work and didnt let up and represented the NWOC conference well.
Wright and Zaidan, who led the Wildcats to a district team title, made up one of the programs three doubles pairs at the state tournament.
Senior partners Mikael Karlsson and Ben Scott earned an OSAA berth with a runner-up district finish, but they were unable to scrape together a victory in Beaverton.
Facing top-seeded Eugene-Marist juniors A.J. Bartko and Austin Tyner, the Wilsonville tandem stole three games but fell 6-1, 6-2.
In the consolation bracket, Karlsson and Scott were on the losing end of an 8-5 decision against Lebanon seniors Robert Perez and Quinn Champion.
Everts and Miller, who placed fourth at the district tournament, were pitted against Lebanon seniors Kevin Meek and Hector Aquino in one of the four qualifying matches at the state event May 22.
The Wilsonville partners proved they could compete with Meek and Aquino but werent able to get over the hump in either of two close sets, losing 6-4, 7-5.
All three Wildcats pairs extended the schools streak of representation in state doubles to eight years.
All six of the Wilsonville players who competed were first-time participants at the state tourney, Snyder said. When playing at state it is an eye opening experience for first-timers, as the level of competition takes a huge leap from conference play. I thought they all stepped up and played hard and didnt back down.
Bartko and Tyner seized the 5A state doubles title in comeback fashion, recovering from a one-set deficit to defeat Summit partners Liam Hall and Garen Gasparovic 4-6, 6-3, 7-6.
Top-seeded Crescent Valley senior Jamie Fisher won the 5A singles title, defeating second-seeded Summit junior Chandler Oliveira 7-6, 6-3.
Crescent Valley and Summit shared the team championship with 19 points apiece. Wilsonville tied for seventh place with two points.