Oddly, the duo are both freshmen who never played doubles as members of the Pointer tennis squad.
Instead, Keegan Smith and Ivan Thamma played singles for the Pointers, both becoming instrumental in the team’s 14-5 overall match record, including an 11-1 Eastern League mark, good for a first-place tie with Serra.
Individually, Smith won 42 of 43 matches over the season, while Thamma, who missed some matches for US Tennis Association events, won 30 of his 32 encounters.
And once they hooked up, they never lost a set.
Their first venture was league finals, where they smoked their Serra opponents 6-0 and 6-2.
Then, in CIF, they dispatched Coronado (6-1 and 6-0), Canyon Crest (6-1 and 6-1), Del Norte (6-2 and 6-3 in the quarterfinals), La Costa Canyon (6-2 and 6-4 in the semifinals) and county power Torrey Pines (7-6 and 6-3) in the finals.
“Winning CIF didn’t really kick in until later that night,” Smith said, “and then we were ecstatic. It was just a great experience.”
“It was a feeling of relief,” Thamma said, “because we wanted to win CIF not just for us, but for our school and our coach (Mark Truver).”
Thamma is currently ranked No. 9 (singles) and No. 2 (doubles) in US Tennis Association’s Boys 16 Southern California points standings. Smith is at No. 34 (singles) and No. 17 (doubles).
At the team’s recent banquet, Smith was voted Most Valuable Player, while Thamma gathered Rookie of the Year honors.
Truver noted his two champions, who carried the team, complement each other with different personalities. Smith, at 6-foot-1, also played junior varsity basketball for the Pointers and is known for his highly competitive nature, while Thamma is considered an even-tempered competitor.
Thamma recalls telling Smith, “Let’s play doubles. We can win this.”
And win they did.