EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - Ethan Beckermann looked deflated and defeated, until he heard the chorus of "Happy Birthday" coming from up the stairs.
The Eau Claire Memorial senior, who had just lost his Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament match at Menard Tennis Center, cracked a smile as he set his bag down and received hugs from teammates and friends.
"I kind of figured that would happen," Beckermann said afterward. "It's really fun. It's a great team, I love the environment. That just shows it."
After winning a pair of marathon matches Thursday, Beckermann faced the second overall seed in the D1 tournament, Elijah Zifferblatt, in Friday's round of 16.
Zifferblatt won 6-1, 7-5 before advancing all the way to Saturday's semifinals.