So close, but so far. That's how the season ended for Kankakee Valley's Luke Sanderson.
Sanderson saw his season come to an abrupt end Friday afternoon in the individual state quarterfinals in Indianapolis. He ran into a buzz saw named Brendan Tannenbaum, a senior from Park Tudor.
Tannenbaum delivered Sanderson's only defeat of the season, a 6-0, 6-0 loss that stopped the Kougar's advance on the individual state title.
"Overall, it was a really good experience going down to Indianapolis," Sanderson said. "But obviously I was hoping for a different outcome."
Though the score would indicate a blowout, K.V. coach Dan Roberts said it was anything but.
"They were the last match on the courts," Roberts said. "The majority of their volleys were intense and lasted quite a while. Luke just couldn't get over that hump to grab a few sets."
Tannenbaum (24-3) advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Carmel's Mihir Kumar in three sets last weekend in the team state semifinals. Tannenbaum also had the advantage of playing Friday on his home courts at Park Tudor High School.
Sanderson, a sophomore, finished the season with a 25-1 record. His overall high school record is now 46-2.
"This was a great learning experience for Luke," Roberts said. "Now he has a better idea of what it takes to win at this level. Hopefully next year, we can take it to the next level."
Sanderson agreed he learned a lot about his game and his future.
"I learned that I have a lot of hard work ahead of me," Sanderson said. "I am going to work with my coach and my dad (St. Joseph coach Reggie Sanderson) on a program that will help me improve a lot this offseason. I want to be ready to take the next step when I play next year."