This past weekend was our second competitive tournament for the year, in which we were able to send out a total of 3 teams combining our old roster with the fresh newcomer recruits from this year. The 2nd Annual Pepperdine Tournament held at Pepperdine University was held from November 19-20, 2016. This was a very exciting tournament with lots of ups and downs and plenty of team bonding between the returners and the new recruits, since it was the first tournament where we travelled and roomed together for 2 nights.
Saturday, November 19, 2016: Round Robin/Pool Play
Since the tournament was held in Pepperdine, a 2 hour drive from San Diego, we drove over the night before and stayed in Alex Loh’s home in Thousand Oaks, a 30 minute drive from the tournament site. For the first day, our 3 teams were placed in separate pools of 4, for a total of 3 matches per team that would determine the seeding for the next day.
A team first faced off against UCLA B team in the morning. As we only had 1 court available to play the matches, the matches were played one at a time. In women’s double, Qing “Vivian” Wen and Kendra Scheer crushed their opponents 6-1, and in men’s doubles, Loh and Ryan Lee had a very convincing win with a score of 6-2. However, after a tough singles match on both sides, and a very close mixed match, we lost by only 1 game for a total of 20-21. After our initial loss, our next 2 matches were much more favorable. Against USD B, our doubles recorded very convincing wins. In singles, Erik Wu had a 6-2 win, and Scheer in women’s singles recorded a 6-0 win. In the end, we were able to roll over the opposing team for a total of 30-2. In the third match against UCR, we were able to sweep across the board, with Kailash Venkatraman playing doubles with Lee for men’s doubles. The final score was 30-8.
B team first faced off against CSUN B team. With Jake Becker and Allen Gao in men’s doubles and Celyne Moh and Talia Elliot in women’s doubles, both doubles pairs were able to record a score of 6-0. In all, the B team had a very convincing 30-5 win to close out the morning. In the second match against USC A team, Becker and Gao played a tough match and won in a tiebreak for men’s doubles. In singles, Gabe Pizzalato played a tough men’s singles match, and Moh equally played a very tough singles opponent. Down 12 games going into mixed doubles, Gao and Elliot managed to win the mixed match 6-5, but sadly lost the second game in overtime for a final score of 16-28. In the 3rd match against Pepperdine, this was a close match with a lot of great play. In women’s doubles, Moh and Rachel Storer take the doubles to a tiebreak to almost win it at 5-6. After convincing wins in men’s doubles and men’s singles, Pizzalato and Elliot close out the mixed match at 6-1 for a total score of 26-14.
C team first played against LMU in the morning. With the women’s doubles from the other team as a no-show, in men’s doubles, Charlie Tamer and Michael Nacinopa were able to take the match in a tiebreak at 6-5. Singles was traded with Audrey Bolstad winning 6-2 and men’s singles player Sanjeev Sinha losing a close 4-6. With Nacinopa and Aparna Rangamani playing mixed to close out the match in overtime, the final score was 28-19. After lunch, in the afternoon, C team played a very tough opponent, UCSB A. In doubles and singles, we faced extremely tough opponents that managed to take the upper hand, ending with a loss from C team. In the 3rd match of the pool, we played USC B team. Bolstad and Rangamani played a tough doubles team, and Tamer and Sinha played a fantastic match for a 6-2 win. In singles, Nacinopa and Rangamani played difficult opponents, and mixed players Tamer and Bolstad lost by a single break for a final total score of 11-26.
Sunday, November 20, 2016: Single Elimination
With A team in Gold bracket, B team in silver bracket, and C team in bronze bracket, we proceeded to day 2.
A team faced off in a rematch against UCLA B. With Wen and Scheer losing a close 5-6 and Loh and Lee closing out doubles 6-4, Wu in men’s singles closed out the match with a convincing 6-2 win. After singles, A team was up 2 games going into mixed. With Lee and Wen playing mixed, they closed out the match 6-2 for a final score of 26-20, with A team getting its revenge. In the semifinal match against UCSB A, A team was able to get revenge for B team’s loss to them the previous day. Scheer played a close singles match with a score of 4-6, and both doubles closed out 6-2 in both of them. With a 5 game lead going to mixed, Venkatraman and Wen closed out mixed 6-4 for the win. In the finals against USC A, the women’s doubles was trailing 1-3, and men’s doubles was trailing 0-1, before the rain made it impossible for play to continue. Under these conditions, sadly, the tournament was cancelled, with USC A being proclaimed the nominal winners.
B team played against UCLA A team first round, a very tough opponent indeed. After waiting for rain to clear up, doubles partners Moh and Elliot, and Pizzalato and Becker lost their matches 3-6. As UCLA was a tough opponent, B team ended the tournament with a final score of 10-30 in silver bracket.
C team played against USD A team first round. We were able to win both doubles, with Bolstad and Rangamani winning 6-1 and Nacinopa and Tamer winning 6-4. We were able to sweep through wins in singles and then in mixed to close out the win 30-13. In the finals match against SDSU, just like our A team, the onset of rain prevented play, and the result was unresolved.
Overall the tournament was a great beginning for merging previous returners with our new roster of talented players. Though we weren’t able to bring our full lineup of girls, we had a very great performance this weekend and we proved that we were a top team ready to go to nationals this year.
Team A: Ryan Lee, Alex Loh (captain), Erik Wu (captain), Kailash Venkatraman, Qing Wen, Kendra Scheer.
Team B: Allen Gao, Jake Becker, Gabe Pizzalato, Celyne Moh (captain), Rachel Storer (captain), Talia Elliot.
Team C: Charlie Tamer (captain), Michael Nacinopa, Sanjeev Sinha, Audrey Bolstad, Aparna Rangamani.