Richland singles players Travis Zuroske and Tasha Talbot, along with doubles team Brett Meyer and Zach Fisher, came out strong with convincing opening-round wins Friday in the 4A state tennis championships at Columbia Basin Racquet Club.
But Zuroske and Talbot both lost their end-of-the-day consolation semifinal games, leaving Meyer and Fisher to soldier on as the Bombers’ final hope in today’s placing matches.
Meyer and Fisher won their consolation semifinal against Kentridge’s James Dugan and Aadil Diwan 6-3, 6-2 to set the table for today’s fourth-place match against Wenatchee’s Nick Mandelis and Lucas Tilly.
And Meyer anticipates a memorable contest against the Panthers.
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“We played them at districts and regionals and lost both times fairly close,” he said. “We haven’t played them fresh yet. Hopefully we’ll get them back (today) and get some revenge.”
But the road to the rematch was paved with a several suspenseful sets.
Meyer and Fisher started off the day with a bit of a stumble, losing the first set against Bellarmine Prep’s Henry Wurst and Chase Hassig. But the pair bounced back impressively to trump the Lions 3-6, 6-0, 6-1.
“We came out passive,” Meyer said of the minor momentary miscue. “We weren’t aggressive at the net but after the first set we regrouped, got the momentum and kept going.”
Then came the defending champions — Hunter Wood and John Stormans of Olympia. The Bombers fell 6-2, 6-2 to the Bears.
“We knew we were in for tough competition,” Meyer said. “They were just that much better than us. They’ll probably win state this year.”
In singles, Zuroske’s season ended with a 6-2, 6-3 consolation semifinal loss to Kainoa Rosa of Thomas Jefferson.
Prior to that was a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Mitch Stewart of Federal Way in the second round.
“He was tough,” Zuroske said of the undefeated Eagles sophomore. “I played well, but he was just too good.”
Zuroske opened the day in fine form with a convincing 6-3, 6-0 victory against Ryan Anderson of Gig Harbor.
“That was a different story,” Zuroske said of his first-round win. “I played solid, played smart and executed well.”
It was a similar story for Talbot, who opened with a 7-5, 7-5 win against Battle Ground’s Kylee Tyler-Breimon, but dropped to the consolation bracket after a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Stanwood’s Megan LaLone, last year’s runner-up.
But Talbot didn’t leave without a fight as she pushed Central Valley’s Leslie Ho to three sets before taking a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 loss in the consolation semifinal.