WATERVILLE, Maine — The end admittedly was abrupt for Isaac Salas.
But his road to the quarterfinals of the state high school singles tennis tournament was one rarely traveled.
Salas, a freshman from Camden and the Waynflete School in Portland, upended two seeded players to reach the final eight of the 48-player draw before being eliminated Saturday by second-seeded Justin Brogan of Falmouth at the Alfond-Wales Tennis Facility on the campus of Colby College.
“I knew I had to play big shots and I tried,” said Salas of his straight-set loss to Brogan. “But he just hit everything back.”
Brogan will play third-seeded Matt Gilman of Cape Elizabeth in one boys semifinal Monday, with the other semifinal matching top-seeded Patrick Ordway — the defending champion — against No. 5 Jordan Friedland of Lincoln Academy in Newcastle.
Monday’s girls semifinals will include three players from Falmouth High School and top-seeded Maisie Silverman, a sophomore from Brunswick who reached last year’s final. Silverman will face fifth-seeded freshman Olivia Leavitt in one matchup, while No. 2 Annie Criscione will play No. 3 Analise Kump in a clash of Falmouth seniors.
Longtime tournament official Don Atkinson couldn’t remember the last time an unseeded player defeated two seeds to reach the quarterfinals, but Salas found himself in that position after upending No. 7 Jordan Doutreluigne of Oceanside of Rockland-Thomaston 6-4, 6-2 in the Round of 32 late Friday and No. 10 Jesse Butler of Deering of Portland 6-3, 6-1 in his Round of 16 match earlier Saturday.
Salas and Doutreluigne, an exchange student from Belgium, were familiar opponents, having met last fall at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport.
“Whenever we played at MRC we always had really close matches, so I kind of knew what I needed to do,” said Salas. “I needed to stay consistent, and I played well and he played well.”
Salas had similar success with Butler, a player he had lost to in a match last summer. After a relatively tight first set, Salas — normally a baseline player — became more aggressive as the match progressed.
“Mostly I just stayed consistent, tried to keep it deep and waited for a short ball to come in,” said Salas. “I started to come in more in the second set.”
Salas, who plays third singles for Waynflete, which has won the last four Class B boys state team championships, was no match for Brogan, a sophomore who took Ordway to three sets in last year’s final before falling 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Brogan, who has lost just two games in his three tournament matches to date this year, swept to a 6-0, 6-0 victory that left Salas disappointed for the moment but ultimately not so low about his effort in reaching the quarters as a first-year high school player.
“I had a good tournament,” he said.
As expected, Ordway had little difficulty Saturday, as the junior dispatched No. 9 Satchel McCarthy of Cape Elizabeth 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals after a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Jai Aslam of Messalonskee of Oakland.
Friedland, also a junior, scored the only boys quarterfinal upset, defeating No. 4 Tyler Adams of Bonny Eagle of Standish 6-3, 6-3 after ousting No. 12 Patrick Stewart of Bangor 6-4, 6-3 in the Round of 16.
Gilman, another junior, scored a 6-2, 6-0 quarterfinal victory over No. 11 Sam Leeman of Morse of Bath after Leeman had fought off a late-match cramping episode to outlast No. 6 Tyler Small of Ellsworth 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2 in the previous round.
The seeds also largely held on the girls side, with competition Saturday including just one three-set match, a Round of 16 marathon in which No. 8 Colleen O’Donnell of Waterville rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the final set to edge No. 9 Ashley Woodside of Hampden Academy 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.
“I’ve played a lot of players and none have ever hit as consistently as [O’Donnell] did,” said Woodside.
O’Donnell subsequently fell to Silverman 7-5, 6-1 in the quarters.
Leavitt lost just one game in her two matches Saturday, first defeating Wendy Goldman of Hall-Dale of Farmingdale 6-0, 6-0 in the Round of 16 before topping co-No. 12 seed Emma Blakeley of Camden Hills of Rockport 6-1, 6-0. Blakeley was coming off one of the bigger early round upsets of the tourney, having defeated No. 4 Mea Clark of Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor 6-2, 6-2 in the Round of 16.
Kump defeated Hannah Potter of Yarmouth 6-1, 6-0 in her quarterfinal, while Criscione — who like Kump lost in last year’s semifinals — defeated No. 10 Shashanna Moll of Belfast 6-1, 6-1 in the quarters.
Moll, a junior who reached the Round of 16 last spring before being ousted by Silverman, advanced one additional round Saturday by defeating No. 7 Devri Ramsey of McAuley of Portland 6-3, 6-2 before squaring off against Criscione.
“I think I played how I usually play today,” said Moll after her Round of 16 victory. “It definitely was a good day for me. I thought I kept my errors to a minimum, which is the hardest part of the game for me, keeping the errors out of my game.”