PROSSER — With hopes of being noticed by college tennis scouts, it was Prosser High School junior Peter Felicijian’s goal to compete in the 2A State Tennis Championships this season.
It’s been 18 years since a Prosser boys singles player has competed in the championships, he said.
“I hadn’t realized it had been that long… I don’t even know if a boys doubles team has been,” Felicijian commented, stating he hadn’t even been born when the last Mustangs boys competitor was in the tournament.
The journey for him was rife with pressure, especially at the District tournament, he said.
“I knew if I have any college prospect, I had to qualify for State,” Felicijian explained, stating this was his best chance at competing in the larger championships because there would be four allocations from the east this season.
Next season, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association will only allow two competitors from this side of the mountains to compete in the statewide showdown.
Going into Districts, he had a bye. His first match took place after spending 14 hours watching others play, and he was set to compete against the No. 1 player from the Great Northern League in the consolation finals.
Defeating that player gave Felicijian a fourth seed in the State tournament, but it also meant he was set to play the 2018 State fourth-place medalist, Abe Rios of Foster.
“I should have got a couple more games, but my forehand was cold,” Felicijian said of losing 6-2, 6-1.
“It was the nerves… being there really freaked you out,” he said, noting his match was a 2-1/2 hour battle against Rios.
He thought he’d win his second match against Derek Kropp of Ridgefield, but “I started placing it (the ball) too much.”
When Felicijian calmed, he had a 5-1 lead in the second set.
“I just had to think about my game, my pace, my accuracy,” he said.
Then, Kropp turned the tables and began “pushing” to recoup the win, 6-2, 7-5.
Overall, he’s pleased to have had the chance to compete in the championships and believes there is a chance he will qualify in the 2020 season.