Lucas Loman had plenty of time to think as the three cars from River Ridge followed each other home.
This was a quick exit for all the Royal Knights at the Class 3A state tennis tournament in Altamonte Springs. Loman simply said in a chipper voice by phone he was happy to have the experience and hoped to one day play collegiate tennis.
River Ridge's top singles player had been stellar all season and certainly didn't expect the type of competition he met Wednesday. Few things went well in his match against Jeremy Delarue from West Boca Raton. Delarue, who transferred from overseas a year ago, blasted forehands at that simply overpowered Loman, who maintained his humble tone after falling 6-1, 6-1.
"He beat the living hell out of the ball with his forehand," Loman said. "Every time if I got it to him the point was over. I'm just happy to play at state. It was my first time."
Loman teamed with Dylan Douglas in doubles, but fell in similar fashion to the Tallahassee Leon duo of Thomas Osteen and Max Shepard, 6-1, 6-2.
River Ridge girls doubles partners Tijana Subotic and Kristin Greenup return to the North Suncoast with a little bit of a good spin on an otherwise tough story. They trailed 3-0 in the first set and rallied to go up 6-4 after one set before falling 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Subotic also fell in singles, dropping her match 6-2, 6-1.
"We were disappointed," Loman said, "but making it to state was a good accomplishment."
A day that held so much promise for area players ended with locals going 0-for-4.
Sickles standout Andy Wang fell to Brennan Boyajian of Weston Cypress Bay for the overall 4A singles title, 6-0, 6-0. Wang is ranked No. 160 nationally.
St. Petersburg's Lindsay Dvorak lost in the 4A singles final to Amelia Martinez of Cypress Bay, 6-3, 6-3. She was trying to become the first player from her school to win a tennis championship since 1955.
Alonso's Mike Broderick and Tyler Snook fell in the 4A doubles final to Boyajian and Jeff Morris, 6-3, 6-3. Broderick is the younger brother of two-time state champion Megan Broderick, who is now at Kentucky.
In 4A doubles, Dvorak and her sister, Emily, were beaten in the final, 6-1, 6-0.
Staff writer Keith Niebuhr contributed to this report. Izzy Gould can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 580-5315.