ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — The Urbana Uni High doubles team of Alex Mestre and Edo Roth advanced to the quarterfinals of the IHSA state tourney Friday before finally losing.
It took the top-seeded duo to end their winning ways. It took a tiebreaker to decide the first set, too, as the Illineks tandem refused to go down without a fight.
"Every point was contested," Uni High coach Dave Bergandine said after Mestre and Roth fell to Glenbrook South's Michael Sellitto and Michael Levin 7-6 (2), 7-5. "They played hard all the way. Our two guys are at the top of their game."
Earlier Friday, the Uni duo defeated Camron Bagheri and Connor O'Kelly of Lake Forest 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 in the fourth round. At that point, they were 4-0 and one of eight doubles teams still in the running for a state title.
"I couldn't believe they got that far without playing a competitive schedule all season," Bergandine said. "Everyone said they were clearly among the top teams in the state. Definitely belonged where they were."
Roth and Mestre will return to the court Saturday in the consolation bracket with an opportunity to finish as high as fifth place. Bergandine is eager to see how it plays out.
"They are two incredibly talented players who can play just about any style and win," the Illineks coach said. "They played five completely different matches and have been extremely successful in every single one of them."
In singles, two Champaign players saw their state runs end in the fourth round of the consolation bracket. Sunny Singh of Centennial lost to Glenbard West's Matt Hirsch 6-1, 7-5. Austin Aten of Champaign Central fell to Jasper Koenen of St. Charles East 6-0, 6-4.