Clark boys tennis coach Clarence Chun is quick to give credit for his team’s success to his returning players.
It’s easy to do. That’s all they’ve ever known.
Clark ran its winning streak to 64 consecutive matches and advanced to its fourth straight Division I-A state final by routing South Tahoe 15-3 in a semifinal at the Darling Tennis Center on Thursday.
The Chargers (14-0) will face The Meadows (10-3) for the title at 8 a.m. today.
“In our program, we stress being competitive and going out there and having fun; it’s a simple formula,” said Chun, whose team has won three consecutive state titles and hasn’t lost a match since the 2012 season opener. “The returnees all have that pride, and when the new players come aboard, the returnees make sure they understand this is a tradition now.”
Michael Pasimio went 3-0 in singles, and Christian Ong and Marcus Pasimio were 3-0 in doubles for Clark, which hasn’t been tested often during its run of dominance.
“We let them know that on any given day, anyone can be beat,” Chun said.
Trevor Pearl and Simran Shah each went 2-0 for Clark, and the doubles team of Akshay Daulat and Teo Tabar was 2-0.
The Meadows’ road to the final was much more difficult, as it battled back from an early 4-1 deficit to top Truckee 10-9 in a tiebreaker.
Nate Van der Post rallied from set point down to pull the Mustangs within 4-2 at the end of the first round, and the team still trailed 7-5 after two rounds.
“If it would have been 5-1 (after one round), it was over for us,” The Meadows coach Frideric Prandecki said. “We didn’t expect Nate to do so well and come back, but he was huge.”
But the Mustangs won the fourth round 4-2 to even the match and force the tiebreaker. The Mustangs won four of the six tiebreaker games to oust the Wolverines (12-1).
The Meadows’ No. 3 doubles team of Ahmed Nadeem and Justin Finseth won its tiebreaker 10-8 to clinch the victory.
“We came together as a team for the first time this season,” Prandecki said. “It was just energy and camaraderie.”
It’s hard to blame Faith Lutheran and The Meadows for looking ahead.
The rivals have met in the past three Division I-A state finals. They’ll make it four straight today.
The Meadows routed Incline 16-2, and Faith Lutheran downed Truckee 13-5 in semifinals Thursday.
“It’s very hard to not look ahead,” Prandecki said. “It’s always Faith, Faith, Faith. We have to take care of business one match at a time, and that’s what we did today. We came out, and they were just focused.”
His Mustangs (12-1) had no trouble taking care of business early against the Highlanders (10-2).
The Meadows led 5-1 after one round and lost two games in the second round.
Anuja Daulat was 3-0 in singles, and Abbigail Klein went 2-0 in singles for the Mustangs, who had the doubles teams of Samantha Gondy and Shalini Shah, Olivia Waysack and Ava Frazier, and Sophie Isaacs and Sonia Vohra all go 2-0.
“It’s good to have four seniors in the starting nine, and seven out of nine players who are very experienced,” Prandecki said.
Faith Lutheran (14-3) also had little trouble dealing with the task at hand, grabbing leads of 5-1 after one round and 11-1 after two rounds against the Wolverines (9-3).
“That was a big thing,” Faith Lutheran coach Jeff Foley said. “Coming out and getting the quick start really helped.”
Madison Foley and Paige Erlanger each went 2-0 in singles, and the doubles teams of Jayden Mattson and Michelle Reiss, Summer Stadtlander and Kelsie Seigle, and Dina Ciulla and Carolyn DiPasquale all went 2-0 for Faith Lutheran.
“We’ve had our ups and downs this year, but I really feel like our team is peaking right now,” Jeff Foley said.”Everybody is coming together, and it feels like we have some momentum.”
Contact reporter Bartt Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5230.