A year ago Shady Side Academy’s Naman Dua and Tanay Kumta were the biggest surprise of the WPIAL Class 3A doubles tournament when they came out of the No. 7 slot and made it all the way to the championship match where they lost to eventual state runners-up Jared Isaacs and Richard Hofmann of North Allegheny.
This year they were the No. 1 seed but never got out of the gate.
On Thursday morning, Kumta was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Without a partner, Dua was forced to resign because of injury, which vacated the top spot on the bracket.
After the Shady Side Academy duo dropped out, Upper St. Clair’s Kevin Kwok and Liam Gibbons, the No. 2 seeded tandem, became the favorite. The two cruised through the preliminary rounds and made it to the finals.
Without Dua and Kumta looming in the second round, Hampton’s Ben Ringeisen and Ted Donegan only needed to win two matches to make it to the finals. The No. 8 seeded Talbots knocked out Penn-Trafford juniors Turner Price and Kevin Lee in the first round and, after a bye in what would have been their match against Shady Side Academy, ousted No. 5 seeds Ian McCabe & Sam Bellini of Mt, Lebanon to reach the finals.
Ringeisen and Donegan will take on the Panthers Kwok and Gibbons at noon on Friday at The Club Sports and Fitness in Monroeville in the WPIAL Class 3A finals.
Hampton has never won a Class 3A doubles title, but Eric Fischer and Adam Jones did win the school’s only championship in Class 2A in 2007. That same year, Upper St. Clair’s Jay Jones and Chris Foster won the school’s most recent championship.