The opponent and coach were talking like the match was in the bag.
Even those on Andrew Kabacy’s side thought the Skyview junior wouldn’t survive the semifinals at the Class 4A state tennis championships.
“I remember my parents and all my friends in the crowd were thinking ‘it’s over. He gave it a good effort,’ Kabacy said.
But one person believed he could still win. That was Andrew Kabacy.
He believed even though he had lost the first set 6-1.
He believed even when he trailed 5-3 in the second set. He survived five match points in one game that he trailed 40-0.
He believed even when he faced a 5-3 deficit in the third-set tiebreaker, where first to seven wins.
“I can’t put in all this work and have it go nowhere,” Kabacy said. “I just eliminated all distractions around me, focused in and got it done.”
Kabacy overcame long odds to win that semifinal against Kyle Fager of Lewis and Clark last month in Richland.
Three hours later, he survived a first-set loss to win the state championship match 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 over Derek Chao of Issaquah.
Kabacy’s singles title also allowed Skyview to win the state championship as a team.
For his accomplishments, Kabacy is The Columbian’s All-Region boys tennis player of the year for a second time.
Kabacy hadn’t won a match in two previous trips to the state championships. An ankle injury put a damper on his previous appearance.