INDIANAPOLIS -The Zionsville No. 1 doubles team saw their season come to an end Saturday afternoon in the state semifinals.
Robert Campbell and Ryan Carr lost to Munster’s Charlie Morton and Kathir Venkat 6-4, 6-1.
It was a tough loss for the Zionsville duo, who led 4-2 in the first set before losing 10 of the final 11 games to drop the match.
Campbell and Carr ended their season 27-3.
On Friday afternoon, they topped Castle’s team of Ethan White and Kunhai Shah 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the state semifinals.
“They returned serve very well,” Zionsville head coach Earl Allen said. “We had faced them in the Jeffersonville Invitational earlier in the year, so we knew them and what they could do. We returned well, we volleyed well, and we didn’t serve as great as we would have liked but it got the job done.”
Campbell and Carr won the first meeting this year 6-2, 6-1 in late August.
While each match is different, Carr said it was useful to have a familiarity with the opponent heading into a big match.
“We were playing very good tennis today,” Carr said. “It was good to know what we were going up against, because there are a lot of different games out here from across the state. We knew what they were going to do, and played well to get the win.”
The Eagles got off to a quick start in the match, cruising to a 6-1 win in the first set.
One thing that has hurt Campbell and Carr at times this year has been slow starts out of the gate, but that wasn’t a problem on Friday.
“We just went for it,” Campbell said. “Sometimes we get off to a little bit of a slow start, but this time we were determined to start quick, and that was nice. We were a lot more aggressive. A the net we took a lot more balls and were clicking together.”
Castle pushed the Eagles early in the second set.
Each team got a break and held serve twice to be tied 3-3 in the set. The Eagles were down 30-40 in the seventh game of the set, but Carr came up with some big serves to hold and put the Eagles up 4-3, and then the Eagles got a break to go up 5-3.
Campbell then held serve to win the match.
“They went back to the original plan that we came up this week,” Allen said. “We had deviated from it a from it a little bit there early in the set, but we went back to what we had talked about all week, and that turned it in our favor.”
Campbell and Carr were looking to be just the second team in Zionsville history to win a state doubles title.
The tandem of Joe Hammond and Nick Laconi won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009 for the Eagles.
No Zionsville team has been in the state finals since 2011, when John Sides and Jeff Yu advanced to the state quarterfinals.
Allen said one of the things that stands out about the pairing is their chemistry, and how well they “work with and for each other.”
Both players said they fell like their skill sets mesh really well together.
“We are kind of similar builds, being tall and lanky,” Campbell said. “He has the reach and the fast hands, plus his serve is amazing. He is more aggressive than I am, which is nice because it balances us out.”
Carr said they have been working hard all season to get to this moment.
“He is like the perfect fit for me as a partner,” Carr said. “He is so solid at the baseline. We have really worked hard for this, we push each other and both really want a state title.”