Last season, Bargo Patel and Dan Seamans were sitting at home during the WPIAL Class AA singles, doubles and team tournaments.
This season, the Greensburg Central Catholic seniors were participants in all three.
"Both of us have grown a lot from last year," Patel said.
First, Patel and Seamans both qualified for the WPIAL Class AA singles tournament, which took place April 15-16.
Seamans lost in the first round, but Patel advanced to the semifinals, where he lost to Thomas Jefferson's Jake Mascaro in straight sets.
Patel, a Belle Vernon resident, still had a chance to qualify for states in the consolation match, but he lost to Bentworth's Matt Lynch.
But Seamans and Patel had another chance to make it to Hershey in doubles last week.
The Centurions senior duo was the No. 3 seed at the WPIAL doubles tournament after winning the Class AA Section 1 title.
"It wasn't until a week or two before the section singles tournament that we started playing a little together," said Seamans, who lives in Greensburg. "We worked hard in the few leading up to doubles, but before that we were all focused on singles.
They won their first two matches, needing a tiebreaker to beat Valley's Cody Schrecongost and Adam Barone in the quarterfinals.
Then just one win away from earning a PIAA berth, Patel and Seamans ran into two talented freshmen in Mars' Josh Raymundo and Aaron Gruber, who defeated the GCC seniors, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).
That meant Patel was facing the exact same scenario he did in singles, needing to win a third-place consolation match to qualify for states. And just like in singles, Patel came up short.
Blackhawk's Clint Davies and Jonah Cooper took down Patel and Seamans in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
"We didn't get to play our game as much as we wanted to," Seamans said. "We like it low over the net and faster paced, but their net game overtook ours."
It was difficult for Patel to absorb coming up one match short of his goal of reaching Hershey for the second consecutive week.
"It's definitely tough," Patel said. "Coming this close that you're one step away from qualifying for states in both singles and doubles and then you lose, it's really tough for an individual."
While the individual tournaments didn't end the way Patel and Seamans wanted, the duo was happy to get their team to a place it hadn't been in more than a decade -- the WPIAL playoffs.
The Centurions finished second in Class AA Section 1 behind Southmoreland and were awarded the No. 6 seed in the WPIAL Class AA tournament. In Greensburg Central Catholic's first playoff match since 2002, it lost to Vincentian Monday.
"This is the first time our school has made the team playoffs in a long time, so we're excited that we get to represent our school and section," Patel said.hsother