Deric Pang and Chaitanya Ingle weren’t the world’s most cohesive doubles team prior to the start of the Division I-A Southern Region tournament.
It didn’t take long for the Clark duo to jell.
Pang and Ingle, who didn’t play doubles together for most of the season, combined to win the boys doubles state title Saturday at Reno Tennis Center. The two defeated Truckee’s Grayson Forsberg and Aaron Pado, 7-6(6), 6-0.
“After we got through a few matches, we really learned how to play together,” Pang said. “We trusted each other.”
And the results came quickly and decisively.
Pang, a junior, and Ingle, a sophomore, lost only one game in the region tournament. They were 6-1, 6-0 winners in Friday’s state quarterfinal before posting a 6-1, 6-2 win over Truckee’s Zach Conradson and Aaron Deteer in the semifinals on Saturday morning.
“For my second year playing high school tennis, it feels incredible,” Ingle said.
They’re the first Clark boys doubles team to win a state title since Doran Breese and Bob Stirming in 1980. Kris Yee won the state singles title for Clark each of the last two years.
“Seeing him win it, and having Coach (Clarence Chun) show us the ring he got for winning, we wanted to match that,” Pang said.
The 32-year drought between doubles titles is almost as long as the gap Pang and Ingle helped Clark’s team end on Friday.
Helped by a 3-0 effort from Pang in singles and a 2-1 showing from Ingle and Kenny Daniels in doubles, the Chargers downed Truckee, 11-7 to win the school’s first team title in boys tennis since 1979.
“It feels great, and it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Pang said. “It’s really indescribable. To have come all this way and to win it all, it feels amazing.”
While Pang and Ingle breezed through their second set, The Meadows’ Mario Gamboa was battling his way back to a 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(5) win over teammate and close friend Evan Roth in the boys singles final.
“It was so difficult to play him. He’s a great captain and a great friend,” said Gamboa, who retired with an injury against Roth in the Southern Region final on Monday. “We played everything hard, and I just got a little lucky, I think.”
Gamboa, a junior, couldn’t finish Monday’s match due to leg cramps and admitted after the match Saturday that he was tired again, but persevered to beat the Mustang senior.
“My mentality was better today,” Gamboa said. “I was more convinced I could win today.”
Even though he is only a junior, Gamboa won’t have a chance to defend the title next season. He’s an exchange student from Mexico and will return to his home country.
“This was my last chance, so I just had to bring it on the court,” Gamboa said. “It has been an awesome experience for me. I love my team, my coaches, my friends.”