A Retreat for the Mind, a Grind for the Body
A tournament hosted by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo started at 5 pm on Friday night where 10 Tritons took a journey on the 6 hour drive up North, not including the 2 hour stop for food and dessert on the way. By the time we had reached our hotel and safe haven for the weekend, it was 1 am and everybody was gassed. We separated into our 2 rooms to recover the much needed strength for the weekend.
The morning started bright and early with a less than great breakfast, but it got us all up and ready for the day. The first match at 10 against Pepperdine was an intense and nerve wracking for the captains, Sanjeev Sinha and especially Sanchit Gupta. It would mark almost 2 years since the two of them had last played doubles with each other. As hyped up as they were, quality opponents and nerves finally got the best of them as we lost 6-4. While the girls' doubles didn't go as planned; singles for both men’s and women’s were a sight to see. Women's singles was played by a freshman named Sisi. She’s the kind of person who you want to see play not just because of how insanely good she is, but the fact that the smile she has on her face when playing could light up the dark side of the moon. It finally came down to mixed when we were down by 1 game. We put our trust in Gautam, the “military man”, and Tiffany Zhang. This match went down to the last point, and sadly it didn't end in our favor. Our team held our heads high in defeat and continued the rest of the day with the spirit and embodiment of what it means to be a Triton. By the time we were done with the first day, it was almost 10 pm. When we finally got back to the hotel, many of us had homework and studying to do. But around 1 am, a group of us snuck out for cookies and milk to bond over the physical happiness that is sugar.
Day 2 started in a similar fashion as we got to the courts around 10. We started off with a bang, as men's doubles went great. This particular win stuck in our hearts as one of the doubles players, Philman, won his first match in UCSD Club Tennis. It was his second year on the team, but his first tournament ever. After 2 long intense fights ending in losses yesterday, Philman and the rest of us were overly happy for his first win. The matches continued with women's doubles having a good fight and our singles sweeping theirs off the floor. It ended with a mixed match with one of the captains, Sanchit Gupta, playing with freshmen Sisi. After recently playing some of his best tennis, Sanchit got his first win of the season and rediscovered the joy of being on the court after playing mixed with one of the most contagiously jolly people on the planet. After some rough outings the day before, UCSD Tennis came through strong on Day 2 to show the rest of SoCal what we can do.
Overall, this weekend became less about the tennis, and more about the comradery of 10 people who spent 48 straight hours together. It was about the endless laughter, the unforgettable moments, and pictures that should never leave the group. For a couple of players, it was their first tournament ever and that itself was an accomplishment in getting through. For some others, it was another milestone in their freshmen year experiencing all that college has to offer. And for the returners, it was chance to let loose from the struggle of school and get to know some of the most amazing people that UCSD has to offer.