It practically had to invite itself, but once The Potomac School tennis team received a spot in the prestigious National Invitational Boys Team Tennis Tournament in Newport Beach, Calif., last weekend, the Panthers proved they belonged.

Potomac School dropped its first match of the 16-team tournament to Bellarmine from San Jose, but won its last three matches against strong California schools to win the tournament’s consolation bracket.

Senior Zach Hublitz won four of his five singles matches and three of five doubles matches playing with his brother Josh to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.

“They were questioning whether we should be invited to the tournament and then ended up being pretty glad we showed up,” Potomac School Coach Marty Hublitz said. “It was a good showing.”

The tournament is run by the National High School Tennis All-American Foundation and seeks to match top high school programs from across the country.

Potomac School assistant coach Jack Schore called the tournament directors and lobbied for Potomac School to receive an invitation based on the success Bullis had at the tournament in previous years when he coached there.

The Panthers were accepted, and played well enough to gut out some close wins.

Zach Hublitz saved eight match points in his No. 1 singles match against Bellarmine, and Chris Dale saved 10 match points and eventually won his match in the consolation semifinals to send Potomac School to the consolation final.

The Panthers continue their season Tuesday against Sidwell Friends.

“It was the most unbelievable way to jump start the season,” Marty Hublitz said. “The kids are fired up.”