116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa City West’s Samir Singh and Jayden Shin looked like a team that has been playing together for years, not weeks.
Trojan Coach Marshal Moellers put them together for the postseason. Three weeks after their first match, they are now state champions.
Singh and Shin, seeded No. 2, needed to win a third-set tiebreaker Tuesday in the quarterfinals to advance. On Wednesday, they were untouchable, capping the day with a 6-0, 6-3 win over top-seeded Brady Adams and Nathan Barlow of Pleasant Valley on the indoor courts at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.
Ironically, Singh and Shin rallied for their Tuesday quarterfinal win after rain forced play to be moved to the HTRC. Both players developed their games and have played countless matches at the complex
“It’s amazing to win a state title and to win it here at the HTRC makes it even more special,” Singh said. “This feels so good to play on our home court. We grew up here and learned to play here.”
Shin echoed his teammate’s feelings about the HTRC.
“We’ve worked so hard on these courts,” Shin said. “We’ve practiced here day in and day out for years and it is great to have our efforts rewarded.”
When putting his postseason roster together, Moellers believed Singh, a sophomore, and Shin, a junior, would be a good fit.
“One of the things I look for when putting a team together is chemistry first,” said the first-year West coach. “I want a team that can communicate and know what the other is thinking without having to say anything.
“You want to put personalities out on the court that mesh. These two clearly click and it showed today on the court.”
Both players placed at state last year. Shin finished sixth in singles while Singh combined with 2021 graduate BJ Wolf to take seventh in doubles. That experience showed.
“That helped them a lot, being part of this last year,” Moellers said. “It also helped to play here today. Being able to play close to home was big for them. I was very proud of the way they played in the tournament.”
West also had a pair of placewinners in singles. Freshman Seth Smigel finished sixth and senior Luca Chackalackal took eighth. In the consolation semifinals, Smigel defeated Chackalackal, 7-6, 7-6 before losing to Ankeny Centennial’s Caleb Peterson, 6-0, 6-0 in the fifth-place match. Chackalackal lost the seventh-place match by injury default.
In doubles, Linn-Mar’s duo of Malcolm Rice and Brock Hanna took fourth. After losing to Singh and Shin in the semifinals, they dropped a 6-4, 6-0 decision to West Des Moines Valley’s Vyas Amalkar and Cam Johnson in the consolation final. The Lions’ second doubles team of Jake Wallrichs and Zach Mersch finished seventh, defeating Micah Flaherty and Luke Vaughn of Fort Dodge in straight sets.
West Des Moines Dowling’s Daniel Lu defended his state singles title, downing Pleasant Valley’s Jake Dolphin, 6-0, 6-2, in the title match.