Tritons fight for distinction at the Tennis on Campus National Championships

POSTED BY LIZ HENRY

This past week, the UCSD club tennis’ A team attended the Tennis on Campus National Championships, held in Orlando, Florida at the USTA National Campus. The team flew out to Orlando on Tuesday night, April 11; with a team of 8 players (5 guys, 3 girls), with high spirits eager to represent Southern California and UC San Diego against 63 other top teams from across the nation. They returned on Sunday April 16 after a roller coaster of a competition. The following is a description of their time at the competition by day.

Day 1: Thursday April 13, 2017

We started our match at 9am on a windy Thursday, playing against Georgetown University. Due to the windy conditions of the court, most of our players were set aback by the vastly different conditions that we were used to playing in. We started off men’s doubles with a tough set: the doubles team of Ryan Lee and Alexander Loh went down 3-6, and the women’s team of Melissa Tran and Qing “Vivian” Wen went up 6-4. In singles, we had 2 tight sets, with women’s singles Smita Sabada winning 6-5 (5-4 in the tiebreak) on a sudden death point, and men’s singles Erik Wu losing a tight 4-6. Down 2 going into mixed, Lee and Tran won the mixed set a convincing 6-2 to start off the tournament with a big win, 25-23.

Our second match was against Cornell University, the top team in our pool. In doubles, both men’s and women’s teams went against tough opponents, with Lee and Loh losing 2-6 and Tran and Wen losing 5-6 in a tough tiebreak. Wu played a fantastic singles set after a slow start and won 6-5, whereas Sabada met her match and lost a very tight set 3-6. Down 7 going into mixed, Lee and Wen won the set 6-4 but lost the next game in over time for a final score of 22-28.

The last match of the day was against North Carolina State University. Arguably the tightest match of the whole tournament, we put in freshman Kailash Venkatraman to play doubles with Loh, taking the win in a fantastic set at 6-3. In women’s doubles, Tran and Wen once again proved their worth and won their set 6-3 as well. We traded off singles with Lee playing men’s singles with Wu subbing in at 0-4 to lose the set 6-0. Sabada however completely dominated the other 3 girls that were subbed into her singles match and won her set 6-0. Thus, going into mixed up 6 games, we put in our last player on the roster, 5th year Charlie Tamer, to play with Tran. Going down 1-4, we subbed out Tamer for Loh, who ended up losing the set 1-6 as well as the remaining 1 game in over time. Thus, we were now in the super tiebreaker to 7 points. We subbed out Tran for Wen, and in a tight supertiebreaker, we managed to win off of Wen’s overhead in a sudden death point.

Day 2: Friday April 14, 2017

In the silver draw, we had a bright and early match at 8am against University of Arizona. With Venkatraman and Loh, we won a tight set 6-5, and with Wen and Tran, we dominated the other girl’s team 6-2. In singles, Sabada played a fantastic match, winning 6-2, and for men’s singles, after Wu looked a little cold after going down 3 games, Lee brought it back to lose 4-6 in the set. Up 7 going into mixed, Tamer and Wen were put into mixed, and with a sub later in the set, we closed out the win in over time to win 25 to 21.

The second round in silver draw, we played against University of Miami. Women’s doubles team Tran and Wen won 6-2, and Venkatraman and Loh lost a close 4-6 match. In singles however, we faced tough opponents whose plays countered that of our singles players. Lee lost his singles set 3-6, and Sabada lost her set 1-6 against a very strong opponent. In mixed, Loh and Wen also lost the set 2-6 to lose against Miami for a total score of 26-16.

In the 3rd round (backdraw match), we faced Gonzaga University. Putting in Tamer and Venkatraman in doubles, we lost the set 3-6. In men’s singles, Wu went down 0-3, and after subbing in Loh, we still ended up losing the set 0-6. Winning women’s doubles but losing women’s singles, we were down 8 going into the mixed set. Loh and Tran played mixed and won the set 6-4, but then lost the next game in overtime to lose against Gonzaga 19-26.

Day 3: Saturday April 15, 2017

In our last match of the tournament, we decided to change things up a bit, since it was the last tournament for Erik Wu and Charlie Tamer (both are done with club tennis after this quarter). Tamer and Venkatraman took a convincing win in men’s doubles with a score of 6-3, and Tran and Wen again crushed the opposing women’s team 6-0. In singles, Wu dominated with a 6-1 score, and Sabada kept it close with a 4-6 match. In mixed, we decided to put Wu in to play with Wen; after losing the set 3-6, Wu held serve the next game to win in overtime and close out the win, a final score of 26-16.

Overall in the tournament, we might not have had the greatest wins or the greatest match plays due to windy conditions in Florida, but we were definitely the most spirited team out there. Cheering for not only our team but also Southern California teams such as Irvine and LA, as well as teams that we had defeated such as Georgetown and University of Arizona, we had great sportsmanship and enjoyed our time in Orlando. Not only did we fight competitively, we also kept up a cheerful and positive atmosphere that definitely carried us all the way to the last day of the tournament.

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USTA Tennis on Campus – Southern California Sectionals

POSTED BY LIZ HENRY

This past weekend was the annual Sectionals tournament for the Southern California section. UCSD showed overwhelming interest for this tournament and sent 3 teams, 26 people in total. In contrast to last year, the pressure was off of us as we already earned a bid to Nationals due to our win at Spring Invitationals last April. Nevertheless, it was a good opportunity to get good matchplay in and a chance to improve our games.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Originally scheduled to start at 9AM, the tournament had to be pushed back 2 ½ hours due to rainy conditions. Luckily it cleared up and the courts were dry and playable for the rest of the day.

A team faced off Cal Poly SLO’s B team in the first match. Cal Poly SLO always fields strong teams, and last year at sectionals our A team went into overtime against their B team. However, this time we were up to the challenge. Our women’s doubles team of Qing Wen and freshman Mina Vukovic, and our men’s doubles team of Ryan Lee and Alexander Loh both got off to hot starts. We hit the ground running as women’s doubles won 6-3 and men’s doubles logged a dominating 6-1 win. The momentum carried on into women’s singles, where Smita Sabada won 6-4, and men’s singles, where Erik Wu overcame a bit of a slow start to win 6-3. Vukovic and freshman Jake Becker closed out mixed doubles 6-2, giving us a score of 30-13. The second matchup was against Loyola Marymount University. With the first match under our belt, we settled in and continued to take care of business. Using the same lineups, Wen and Vukovic won 6-2, Lee and Loh 6-1, Sabada 6-1, Wu 6-0, and Becker and Wen 6-1, to give us an overall score of 30-5. As round robin groups only consisted of three teams, we thus won our pool and secured a position in the Gold Bracket. The first gold bracket round was against USC’s A team, one of the toughest teams in the tournament. Wen and Vukovic fought hard but fell 3-6. Lee and Loh were in sync for men’s doubles and had a dominating a 6-1 win. Both Sabada and Wu had some difficulty in the singles matches, as many games came down to sudden-death deuce points that mainly went USC’s way. They lost 2-6 and 3-6, respectively. We were down 5 games going into mixed doubles. Vukovic and Lee played inspired tennis, racing out to a 5-0 lead to tie up the overall score. However, with some errors on our side, USC was able to claw back a couple of games. Despite winning 6-2, we could not break serve in overtime and lost with an overall score of 20-22. In many matches we had chances to close it out but couldn’t; this is a good learning experience for us as we march on to Nationals in April. This concluded A Team’s Day 1 and they moved to the consolation bracket.

B team’s first match of round robin play was against USC-A so they had a tough match from the outset. Our women’s doubles team of Denise Ogranovich and Karoline Pintar lost 2-6, our men’s doubles team of Kailash Venkatraman and Allen Gao lost 3-6. Kendra Scheer started out women’s singles, but we substituted in Melissa Tran to try to get some games back. She ultimately lost 1-6. Gabe Pizzolato fought hard in singles and had many great points. However, he lost 4-6 to a tough opponent. Our mixed doubles team of Melissa Tran and Anurag Coramutla played a really close match but ultimately lost in a sudden death point in the tiebreaker. B team fought hard, but USC proved too much. Their second match was against UCLA’s C team. This one proved to be extremely close across all matches. Both men’s and women’s doubles won their match in a tiebreaker, 6-5, with men’s switching it up to Pizzolato and Charlie Tamer. Melissa Tran and Allen Gao fought hard in singles, but lost 4-6 and 5-6, respectively. Only down one game, it all came down to mixed doubles. It was another tight match at 4-4. However, UCLA-C was able to string two games together to take the match 28-25. B team performed admirably against a tough pool.

C team, originally scheduled to start at 11am, was backed up until 12:30pm. Many of our players were restless due to the weather delays and were eager to get going. They had a tough first match against SDSU’s A team. Our women’s doubles team of Talia Elliott and Rachel Storer fell 2-6, and men’s doubles, John Rabalais and Sanjeev Sinha, lost 1-6. SDSU’s A team has always been fairly strong, so we knew we were in for tough ones. Freshman Kenna Bayless lost 2-6 and Josh Weiss went down 0-4 before Sinha was substituted in. He was able to win two games with his spirited play, but ultimately lost 2-6. Down 17 games into mixed doubles, the deficit was simply too great against a strong team. Our mixed doubles team of Celyne Moh and Ryan Adachi, playing in his first tournament, lost 1-6 for an overall score of 8-30. Their second match was against USC’s B team. Men’s doubles (Michael Nacinopa and Adachi) lost 2-6, Women’s doubles (Elliott and Bayless) lost 4-6. Yuri Choi lost women’s singles 2-6. Though it appeared USC was pulling away, Sinha had a great 6-0 win in men’s singles against a tough opponent, bringing UCSD right back into it. Down only 4 in mixed doubles, we had a chance to bounce back. However, Moh and Adachi were unable to get the win and lost 3-6. The overall match score was 17-24.

Sunday, February 12 – Bracket/Single Elimination

Based on Saturday’s results, A team was in the gold bracket and both B and C teams were placed in the bronze bracket.

A team played against SDSU, a rematch of last year’s consolation finals. Wen and Vukovic won 6-0 in their doubles match. Lee and Loh had some struggles early on but was able to pull off a 6-5 win against a scrappy SDSU doubles team. Smita Sabada unfortunately came down with a shoulder injury, so the other girls had to cover. There were two close matches in singles, with Wen losing 5-6 and Wu losing 4-6. However, we were still up 4 going into mixed doubles. Lee and Vukovic teamed up again, but SDSU was on fire from the beginning and we quickly went down 0-4. However, taking things slowly, we were able to settle down and get some games back. Though we lost 3-6, this sent the matchup into overtime, where we only needed one game to win. Ryan Lee closed out his service game in a convincing fashion to quash all hopes of a SDSU comeback. Thus we moved on to the consolation finals to face UCSB’s A team. Wen and Vukovic played extremely well to win 6-0, and Lee and Loh locked in and won 6-3. This time, Vukovic played singles against a tough opponent, but won 6-5 in the tiebreaker. Wu started off playing men’s singles, but at 1-1, he landed awkwardly on his ankle and rolled it. He took an injury time out and played the next two games, but ultimately decided to take himself out. Jake Becker took over and played amazing tennis, taking control of points and staying aggressive. He won 6-3. We were up 13 games going into mixed doubles, so we put in Wen and Becker. They played very well against tough opponents, holding their own, and winning 6-4. Thus, our A team won the consolation and took 5th place.

B team played CSU Fullerton for their first round in the bronze bracket. The effort and passion they played with was very evident; Ogranovich and Pintar won 6-2, Gao and Venkatraman won 6-3, Tran won 6-2, and Pizzolato won 6-3, all with strong play. Coramutla and Tran played mixed doubles, and there was one point where an opponent’s shot hit the net and barely dribbled over. Coramutla quickly changed directions and dove for the ball to continue the point. That was just one example of where our teams showed their fighting spirit and desire to win. They closed out mixed doubles handily at 30-11, putting them in the bronze semifinals, where they were to face Pepperdine-A. Our doubles teams of Pintar and Ogranovich and Venkatraman and Tamer both won 6-1, giving us a huge lead from the beginning. Tran lost a close match 4-6, but with Pizzolato winning 6-3, B team was up 11 games going into mixed doubles. Tran and Coramutla once again played very well and won with the exact same score as before, 6-1. The final score was 28-12, and as with A team, B team won their two matches of the day and made it to the bronze finals.

C team faced off against SDSU’s B team. Our doubles teams of Moh and Storer and Michael Nacinopa and John Rabalais won 6-3 and 6-4, respectively. Our women’s singles player, Kenna Bayless, lost a tough match 2-6, but Sanjeev Sinha rebounded with a singles win of 6-3. It all came down to the crucial  mixed doubles set as we were up 4 games going in. Nacinopa and Elliott fought the entire match and was able to win 6-4, making the overall score 26-20. Their second match was to be against Pepperdine B. In similar fashion, Moh and Storer and Nacinopa and Rabalais won 6-3 and 6-5, respectively, to give them the early lead. Bayless won 6-2 this time, further extending our lead. Sinha played a tough opponent; the match was very close but unfortunately he lost 5-6. With a 6 game lead going into mixed, they were in a good position to win the matchup. Mixed doubles proved to be another close match; it went to a tiebreaker but in favor of Pepperdine. This sent the match into overtime, as we were still up by 5 games overall. Pepperdine was able to win one game, but Elliott and Nacinopa was able to win the next to end it with a score of 28-23.

C team thus also made it to the bronze finals along with our B team! However, they did not face each other as the prize (case of tennis balls) was already in hand. At the fun zone they played games such as cornhole and water pong; it was a very festive atmosphere and everyone was in good spirits, owing partially to the fact that UCSD’s teams all won their matches on Day 2.

A team can be satisfied with their performance since they lost to both SDSU’s A team and UCSB’s A team last year, both in nail biting super tiebreakers. This year, we were able to beat both of them and come within an inch of beating USC A. The drive to get better continues and burns harder than ever before. We are excited for the big tournaments to come: Spring Invitationals and Nationals, both in April.

More importantly, the team atmosphere was amazing. Each team supported one another to their utmost, roaming around to find each other and cheering their hearts out. We carried one another through the ups and downs and rebounded from tough losses to close out the tournament on a good note. This sort of togetherness and chemistry is great to see and speaks to how well we have come together as one unit and one cohesive group. I am personally excited about the direction that the team is going.

A-Team Members: Erik Wu (Captain), Alexander Loh (Captain), Ryan Lee, Jake Becker, Mina Vukovic, Qing Wen, Smita Sabada.

B-Team Members: Anurag Coramutla (Captain), Charlie Tamer, Gabe Pizzolato, Kailash Venkatraman, Allen Gao, Karoline Pintar, Denise Ogranovich (Captain), Kendra Scheer, Melissa Tran.

C-Team Members: Sanjeev Sinha, Ryan Adachi, Josh Weiss, Michael Nacinopa, John Rabalais, Kenna Bayless, Celyne Moh, Rachel Storer, Yuri Choi, Talia Elliott.

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2nd Annual Pepperdine Tournament-Pepperdine University

POSTED BY LIZ HENRY

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.

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Second Annual SDSU Club Tennis Tournament

POSTED BY LIZ HENRY

This past weekend was the first competitive tournament of the year for UC San Diego. The second annual SDSU tournament took place on November 5 and 6, 2016. We were excited for the season to start since we took on roughly 25 newcomers this year. As this tournament was mostly for match experience, we opted to fill out our rosters with mostly newcomers.

Saturday, November 5, 2016 – Round Robin/Pool Play

Saturday was a unique day; due to court availability, matches were a total of 6 games instead of a regular set. This put us in an interesting position as this format was entirely new to some of our newcomers. However, we were up to the task.

A team faced off against CSU Fullerton in their first round which started at 1pm. Our women’s doubles team of Renee Walton and Mina Vukovic and our women’s singles player, Dominique Derse, both logged scores of 6-0. Across the board, we dominated our matchups and we took the first match 25-5. Our second match of the day was against the B team of CSU Northridge. We experimented with new lineups, putting in Derse at doubles and Walton at singles. We proved too much for CSUN-B in every match and our mixed doubles team of Anurag Coramutla and Melissa Tran closed it out 6-0. Our combined score was 29-1. The third match of the day was our toughest; we played the University of Arizona. They proved to be a formidable opponent as our men’s doubles team of Kailash Venkatraman and Jake Becker went down early, 1-3. We subbed in Coramutla and Allen Gao, but they were not able to claw back and we lost 1-5. Our women’s doubles had a close match but lost 2-4. Going into singles, the University of Arizona kept putting on the pressure. We lost women’s singles 1-5. Gabriel Pizzolatto, playing men’s singles, won 4-2 against a tough opponent. By this time, the deficit was too great and we could not overcome it. We lost to Arizona 10-20. Our spirits were still high, as we finished in the top two in our round robin pool, enabling us to proceed to the Gold Bracket on Sunday.

B team faced a tough round robin group. Our first match was against the University of San Diego. Our women’s doubles team of Kenna Bayless and Karoline Pintar won 4-2 to give us an early lead. Sanjeev Sinha and Cheng Gong tied in men’s doubles, 3-3, so we were neck-and-neck going into singles. Yuri Choi decisively won 5-1 but Thomas Qin lost 2-4, so we had a slight lead going into mixed. Our mixed doubles team of Cesar Nava and Talia Elliott closed it out 5-1 for a 19-11 victory.  Their next match was against Cal Poly SLO, another strong socal team. Women’s and men’s doubles split victories. We lost our women’s singles 1-5 and tied in men’s singles 3-3. In mixed, we were unable to overcome the deficit and lost with a combined total of 12-18. Our third match was against UCLA’s A team, another very strong opponent. We fought hard in every match but they proved to be too much and we lost 6-24. Despite the two losses, our B team was determined to bounce back the next day in bracket play.

Sunday, November 6, 2016 – Bracket/Single Elimination

Based on Saturday’s results, A team was the 5th seed in the Gold Bracket and B team was the 3rd seed in the silver bracket. Luckily, the format for Sunday changed and we played full sets and matches.

A team started off against UCLA’s B team. Despite being a B team, we can never underestimate any school, least of all UCLA. The first match was an early morning match at 8:45 am. And it was close from the very beginning. Our women’s doubles team of Walton and Tran lost in a close match, 5-6. Allen Gao and Kailash Venkatraman got a great win at men’s doubles at 6-3. It was close going into singles until Derse won 6-1 for women’s singles, giving us a good lead. Pizzolatto ran into a tough opponent and lost 5-6, but we were still up 6 games going into mixed, a nice cushion. Coramutla and Tran lost mixed doubles 3-6, so the matchup was sent into overtime. We had to win one of the next three games to close out the match. Luckily, the first game in overtime was on Coramutla’s serve. With a hold, we stopped overtime and advanced to the semifinals. In the semifinals, A team faced off against the A team of UCLA. Women’s and men’s doubles lost 2-6 and 3-6 to the ever-competitive UCLA team. However, Derse and Pizzolatto gave us a fighting chance by winning 6-4 in both of their singles matches. Derse’s win was especially impressive as she was able to figure out the match and close it out after her opponent brought it back from 4-1 to 4-4. We were only down 3 going into mixed doubles. Coramutla and Vukovic (subbed in Tran at 1-3) played a close match, but ultimately lost 3-6, ending our tournament run. The way we played against U of A on day one and UCLA’s A team on day two was promising and leaves us optimistic for future tournaments.

Interestingly, B team faced off against USD in their first match of bracket play, a rematch of their day one matchup. Pintar and Bayless could get a 6-2 in women’s doubles, but USD took the next three matches (men’s doubles 4-6, women’s singles 3-6, and men’s singles 3-6). Thus, we were down 4 games going into mixed doubles; a deficit, but one that could be overcome. It all came down to the mixed match, were Nava and Elliott played a spirited match. They won 6-2, which closed the gap and immediately sent the matchup into a super tiebreaker; where the first team to reach 7 points would walk away the victor. The tiebreaker was a very back-and-forth affair, as tension runs high for both teams involved. Nava and Elliott toughed out a 6-4 lead, but then lost the next two points to get to a 6-6, sudden death point; the deciding point to see who advances and who goes home. Nava hit a high serve to the opponents’ backhand which was returned, Elliott hit a low volley which the USD women’s player ended up returning long. UC San Diego won 7-6 in the closest situation possible! This brought them to the semifinals of silver bracket. In the semifinals, they faced off against San Diego State’s B team. This cross-town match always brings high emotions and further motivation to win. We split women’s and men’s doubles, 6-4 and 3-6, respectively. Their women’s singles player, with her powerful forehand, proved to be too much and we lost that set 1-6. Nava, this time playing men’s singles, played an inspired match and won 6-3; we were only down 3 games going into mixed. Nava and Elliott took center stage again and played a close match; they won their send 6-5 (5-0), which sent the match into overtime. However, SDSU rebounded in the first game of overtime and won on a deciding deuce point, which ended our B team’s run in the bracket with a final score of 22-25.

Overall, the tournament proved to be a good learning experience for the new players. Especially on Sunday, A team got to experience close matches and should be proud of the way they played. B team got to experience a victory on a sudden death point in a super tiebreaker, which is a feeling they can carry with them moving forward and a great example of how to handle pressure situations.

The year is only starting, and we’re looking forward to how this season plays out.

A-Team Members: Anurag Coramutla (Captain), Kailash Venkatraman, Jake Becker, Gabriel Pizzolatto, Allen Gao, Melissa Tran, Mina Vukovic, Dominique Derse, Renee Walton

B-Team Members: Cesar Nava (Captain), Sanjeev Sinha, Cheng Gong, Thomas Qin, Kenna Bayless, Yuri Choi, Talia Elliott, Karoline Pintar

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April 7-10 Tennis

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

USTA Tennis on Campus – Spring Invitational

Tucson, Arizona

 

It was the final competitive tournament of the year for the UC San Diego Competitive Club Tennis Team this past weekend, April 8th through the 10th. Three teams from UC San Diego, totaling about 30 people, travelled to Tucson, Arizona to compete in Tennis on Campus’ Annual Spring Invitational which was host to a total 48 teams from all around the nation. The stakes were high as only the two teams to reach the final round of the Gold Bracket – determined after an initial day of round robin pool play– would qualify for the Nationals bid for the following season. The UC San Diego A-team went in with exactly that goal in mind, determined to course correct following their dramatic loss at Sectionals earlier in the year. The B team, which ended up with fewer players due to sudden scary injuries and unexpected circumstances, still had their heads held high as they had a strong team going into the weekend. C team had confidence that they could outperform their non-existent expectations which is exactly what they did.

 

Friday April 8, 2016:

 

During the first day of competition, UC San Diego-A was put into a pool with 3 other teams from across the nation: Northern Arizona University B-team, DePaul University B-team, and UC Santa Cruz A-team. It was imperative for UC San Diego-A to win all of their matches so that they would be put into the top-level Gold Bracket, as well as achieve a high winning percentage so that they could get the highest seed possible. Fortunately, it was smooth sailing for A-team as they won each match handily. A-team faced NAU-B first, but with a special set of rules that shortened gameplay to only 4 games per set due to rain the previous night. UC San Diego’s A-team took care of the first match against NAU-B, 20-1. The next match against DePaul-B went fairly smoothly as well, with the format of the matches returning to the normal 6-games/set format. A-team was able to pull off an impressive 30-4 win, with Qing Wen and Amy Lin in women’s doubles as well as Lin and Alexander Loh in mixed doubles pulling off 6-0 wins.

Finally, A-team’s last match was against UCSC-A, with both doubles matches giving a 12-1 lead going into singles. Wu and Sabada had some tougher matches with their opponents, but still came out with big wins to give A-team a large buffer of 24-6 going into mixed. Loh and Lin got the job done with a solid 6-3 win, giving A-team their 3rd win in the pool 30-9. Impressively enough, A-team ended up with an 85.11% winning percentage, the highest of all the teams in the entire tournament, and thus cemented the 1st seed in Gold Bracket.

For B Team, their first match was also shortened to 4 games due to the rain. First up was a match up with CO School of Mines A. Charlie Tamer and John Rabalais held strong at 4-2 in the men’s doubles, Denise Ogranovich and Ariel Lee got a great 4-1 win in the women’s, Mikaela McNally got a 4-2 singles win and Brian Bliss just lost out 3-4 on a tie break (3-5). McNally and Tim Harris played the mixed, losing the set by a single point 3-4 (4-5) which forced overtime. However, they won the first game to stop overtime and the match was won by UC San Diego-B 19-13.

MSU-A was next. They were a very strong team and unfortunately proved to be too much for B team. Full set scores: John/Tim 0-6, Ariel/Denise 2-6, Mikaela 4-6, Brian 4-6, and Charlie/Ariel 3-6. The final score was 13-30 and we concluded that what MSU lack in clothing (many of their guys opted to play shirtless), they made up for with their skill the court.

The final match of the day for B team was against Fullerton B, who were a very friendly team. We managed four out of five wins as follows: Charlie/John 6-5 (5-2), Ariel/Denise 6-2, Ariel 6-2, Brian 4-5 (sub John 4-6) and Mikaela/Tim 6-3. Final score was a strong win 28-18. Two out of three wins put B team comfortably into silver bracket.

UC San Diego C-team was placed in a pool with the Pepperdine A-team, the Washington State University A-team, and the University of Arizona B-team. The results of this pool play would determine which bracket the team would play in on the following day. Unfortunately, the C-team, despite some hard fought matchesm went 0-3 in the pool. The scores for the day were 15-17 against the University of Arizona B-team, 17-24 against the WSU A-team, and 15-26 against the Pepperdine A-team. Despite the losses, each of these matches had some key moments that showcased the talent on C-team. Against the U of A B-team, the team of Anurag Coramutla and Celyne Moh played some inspired mixed doubles to push the match into overtime in which they managed to win 2 more games. Against the WSU A-team, Tokunosuke Takahashi (Toku) trounced his opponent 6-1 which kept the C-team in it until the final set. Finally, in the final match of the day against the Pepperdine A-team, Celyne Moh and Ben Cauffman won a thrilling 6-5 victory to push the match into overtime which they unfortunately fell short in. Normally, a team that loses all the matches in their pool would be sentenced to the lowest bracket, but because of how close each match was, they qualified for the Copper Bracket (4th level of 5 total).

 

Saturday April 9, 2016:

 

It was the second day of competition and the UC San Diego A team couldn’t have been more focused and prepared for the challenge that lay ahead of them. Gold Bracket consisted of 16 teams, with many tough teams including UC Irvine’s A- and B-teams, Michigan State University’s B-team, and the B-teams of USC and UCLA (whose A-teams had already received bids for this year’s Nationals). UC San DIego A-team faced off against University of New Mexico-A in the Round of 16, comfortably winning the match with a score of 27-8. It was this match that established the dominance of the men’s doubles combination of Lee and Vo, as their shouts of “FEARLESS!” penetrated the air and allowed them to pull off yet another 6-0 victory. This set the tone for the rest of the match against UNM.

In the quarterfinals, UC San Diego-A faced a much tougher opponent, Cornell University’s B-team. While Men’s and Women’s doubles were able to give a 12-3 lead going into singles, Wu and Sabada faced much more difficult opponents, and Cornell was only 4 games away at 19-15 going into the final mixed doubles match. It was imperative that UC San Diego-A halt their momentum in mixed doubles. The lineup was changed and Lee and Lin were put in for mixed doubles. The two gave A-team a solid 6-4 victory which sealed the win over Cornell-B 25-19. This was their closest match of the tournament thus far.

UC San Diego-A was now in the semifinals of Gold Bracket, one match away from their goal of getting the bid to next year’s Nationals. UC Irvine-A stood in their way. It was a much anticipated matchup, as not only were there many familiar faces on UCI’s team, but both teams shared a love of friendly competition, an emphasis on sportsmanship, and a desire for a rematch since their last encounter at Sectionals. Vo and Lee, aka “Team Fearless” started out against Gabe Cupino and Winston Ngo of UCI-A, while Wen and Lin set out against Linsey Wilson and Melissa Huang in women’s doubles. It was a neck-and-neck battle between the two teams, both fighting for some sort of lead as both doubles matches went to tiebreakers. In the end, Team Fearless was able to pull out a clutch 6-5(3) win, their 16th consecutive tournament victory since UCLA’s tournament last November, while Wen and Lin were able to make a valiant comeback with a tight 5-6(1) loss which tied up the overall match 11-11.

It was now up to UC San Diego-A to attempt to get a lead with Wu and Sabada at singles once again. Wu faced Ngo, a tough opponent, while Sabada battled it out against Jennifer Andra, who was later subbed by Wilson later in the match. Despite having given up 3 match points at 5-2 (40-0), Sabada was able to quickly bounce back to finish off the match at 6-3. The match between Wu and Ngo was much more heated, as both players battled with neither player giving an inch, but in the end, Ngo came out the victor, defeating Wu 6-4. UC San Diego-A was now only up by 1 game going into mixed, 21-20. It would all come down to the mixed doubles match.

The UC San Diego pair battled it out against UCI’s Cupino and Huang, who proved to be an amazing challenge. The match was dead even throughout; as it progressed, it was tied at both 2-2 and 4-4. It finally came down to a 5-point tiebreaker at 5-5 in the set, a crucial moment that would decide whether UC San Diego would go to Nationals, or if the two teams would have to play an ultimate super tiebreaker to decide the match. The atmosphere was exciting yet tense, as UC San Diego and UCI gave it their all point by point. Eventually, Lee and Lin were given with 2 match points in the tiebreaker, with Lee faced with Cupino’s heavy kick serve. But against such a difficult serve, Lee couldn’t do much, and UCI-A won the set 5-6. It was time for a final, decisive super tiebreaker.

With UC San Diego coach Stephen Yu and UCI coach Iris Mark providing both mixed teams with strategies and encouragement, the crowd could not have been more excited to see the outcome, with UC San Diego’s B- and C-teams as well as UCI’s B-team, all watching intensely courtside. Lee and Lin jumped out to a critical 4-0 start in the tiebreak. They would retain their lead and stretch it to 6-2, meaning that UC San Diego had 4 opportunities to close out the match and secure the 2017 Nationals bid. To prevent any potential comeback, it was absolutely exigent for Lee to finish the match on his serve. A nerve-wracking double fault gave UCI one more point, bringing the score to 6-3, but Lee was finally able to finish off the match with another bomb of a serve as Huang’s return floated out of bounds. UC San Diego was going to Nationals in 2017! Final score: 27-26

For the B team, the quarterfinals of silver bracket saw UC San Diego playing against DePaul B. In this match we got our strongest, unforgiving and most fearless win of the tournament. Ariel/Denise 6-0, Bruce/Charlie 6-0, Mikaela 6-3, Brian 6-3, Mikaela/John 6-3. Boom. 30-9.

The semi-final saw slightly tougher opponents from Cal State Fullerton A. Ariel/Denise 6-2, Charlie/Bruce 6-4, Mikaela 6-5 (5-2), Chris 6-2. It should be noted here that Chris was playing in his first set since injuring his ankle and closed the set out flawlessly after tying it up at 2-2, a well-played match. Into mixed, Ariel/Tim suffered a 4-6 loss, however, UC San Diego B had a comfortable lead of 9 games going into overtime. Our mixed opposition had been told by their team they would receive $5 for each game they came back in overtime. For that reason and that reason only, we let them get one back. Then we closed it out, 1-1. Final score 29-20. UC San Diego -B was in the finals of the Silver Bracket!

UC San Diego C-team started well the second day of the tournament in Copper Bracket by taking down the University of Wyoming-A team with a score of 25-18. The highlight of this matchup was the clutch win by the doubles team of Rachel Storer and Celyne Moh (who subbed in for Hannah Folk at 1-2). Storer/Moh came back to win the set 6-5, by winning the tiebreaker 5-3. Next came the match between UC San Diego -C and Washington University in St. Louis-B. This was an extremely close match with two tiebreak sets in men’s doubles and men’s singles. Also crucial for keeping this match close was the efforts of Xochitl Vasquez who was able to go up 2-1 in women’s singles before subbing herself out due to illness. Going into mixed doubles down by 2 games, Ben and Celyne were unable to pull out the win, but put in their effort and lost the set 3-6. After day 2, UC San Diego -C was primed for an exciting 3rd/4th place playoff match against Arizona State University D-team.

 

At the end of the day on Saturday, B and C teams rushed to see UC San Diego A team win a thrilling close tiebreaker against UC Irvine A team. We were all a little disappointed in the time clash and the change of site as that meant we missed the players’ party which included a mini tennis competition and a dance-off. However, with the Nationals bid in hand and with the entire team in good spirits, being tardy to the player’s party did not take much away from the atmosphere and the enjoyment.

 

Sunday April 10, 2016

 

While UC San Diego -A had already achieved their goal of attaining the Nationals for the next competitive season, there was still a job to be done: winning the final match of the tournament. USC-B was the final obstacle. To switch things up, Lee and Loh took on Men’s Doubles, while Wen and Lin remained in Women’s Doubles. Having not played an official, competitive match together, Lee and Loh struggled against USC-B, especially as Loh was battling an injured wrist throughout the entire weekend. Luckily, despite having lost one of the 2 match points in the tiebreaker, Lee and Loh were able to pull off a 6-5(4) win, with Loh slamming one of his signature volleys on sudden death point into the bottom left corner of the court. Wen and Lin were also able to defeat their opponents rather handily, achieving a service break to attain a lead and defeated their opponents 6-3. Wu and Sabada also produced some absolutely brilliant play in each of their matches respectively, with Wu defeating his opponent with a skillful drop volley on match point in the tiebreaker to win 6-5(3) and Sabada absolutely demolishing her opponent with a 6-0 sweep. With a very solid lead going into mixed, Lin and Lee took the stage one last time to finish of their match 6-2, defeating USC-B with an overall score of 30-15 to win the Spring Invitational tournament.

 

Sunday had just one match left in store for UC San Diego B team: the finals of silver bracket. Bruce/Charlie 1-5, (sub Brian 1-6), Ariel/Denise 1-3 (sub Mikaela 3-6), Brian 0-3 (sub Chris 2-6), Mikaela 6-4, Ariel/John 3-6. As can be seen, we tried using subs to switch up the pace and throw our opponents off guard, but unfortunately it was not enough and B team lost 15-28 to take second place in silver.

UC San Diego -C placed 3rd in the second worst bracket. What may not be evident on paper, however, was palpable in person, especially seeing the amount of heart that the C-team played with. No loss was too devastating, and no victory was too relieving. When UC San Diego Club Tennis looks back on this tournament, the C-team will probably be overshadowed by the amazing (and more successful) performances of A and B team, but what will hopefully be remembered from this team is how to win with humility and lose with grace, and to play passionately throughout.

 

As a whole, Spring Invitationals is the most highly-anticipated event for the UC San Diego club tennis team. The combination of the fun atmosphere, competitive matches, the ability to have so many participants play, and the chance to meet players from all around the nation make it a unique season-ending experience. Each of UC San Diego’s teams at Arizona played absolutely amazingly, with members of each team giving their full support to the other teams. UC San Diego’s tennis team has faced adversity and setbacks this year but in spite of them, through hard work and strong dedication to the game, the team came together in a very strong showing down in Tucson, Arizona, with A team getting the winner’s trophy and securing a bid to the 2017 Nationals tournament, B team getting the runner-up trophy in the Silver Bracket, and C team coming in third in the Copper Bracket. Go Tritons!

 

 

A-Team Members: Erik Wu (Captain), Ryan Lee (Captain), Kyle Vo, Alexander Loh, Justin Yang, Michael Nacinopa, Amy Lin, Qing Wen, and Smita Sabada

 

B-Team Members: Tim Harris (Captain), Denise Ogranovich (Captain), Brian Bliss, John Rabalais, Charlie Tamer, Bruce Fan, Chris Sreesangkom, Ariel Lee, Mikaela McNally, Josephine Kozlowski

 

C-Team Members: Ben Cauffman (Captain), Celyne Moh (Captain), Richard Mendoza, Anurag Coramutla, Xochitl Vasquez, Rachel Storer, Hannah Folk, Tokunosuke “Toku” Takahashi

 

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UC San Diego Falls Short at Sectionals, but the Future is Bright

POSTED BY LAUREN SAWVELLE

It is the most anticipated tournament of the year, Southern California Sectionals. We sent two teams to Clairemont Mckenna in hopes to take home a nationals bid by placing in the top 5. On the first day of the tournament, UC San Diego-A hoped to win all three matches in a tough pool to place into the gold bracket. In the first match, UC San Diego-A defeated Pepperdine-A, 28-18. We thought we had the pool in the bag after beating Pepperdine-A. We were sorely mistaken as Cal-Poly B ended up being our roughest match. We played hard and won 25-24 in super-tiebreaker as Senior Amy Lin and Sophomore Alexander Loh bring home the win. In the last match of the first day, we overwhelmed CSUN-B, 30-1.

In gold bracket, we placed 7th in winning percentage, having to a face the strong 2nd seed UCSB-A. Captain Kyle Vo and Sophomore Ryan Lee undefeated for the tournament thus far, won in a sudden death point finish 6-5(5-4). With that near victory, the score was tied going into singles. Freshmen Smita Sabada overwhelmed her opponent winning 6-2 pushing the team to a 1 game lead going into the last match. In mixed, Seniors Kyle Vo and Amy Lin suffered a very close loss 4-6, losing the match and the nationals bid. After the crushingly close defeat, the newly inspired team beat UCI to go into the 5th place match for one last chance to make nationals. As if writing a drama, it was a battle of San Diego as we were set to play SDSU-A for the last spot at nationals. In this season alone, the opposing school has beaten us twice out of two meetups. It started with a close 6-4 victory in still undefeated pairing, Ryan Lee and Kyle Vo. Alexander Loh stepped in against a very tough opponent and lost in a close 3-6. Down four games going into mixed, it was a huge uphill battle to reach nationals. Pairing Ryan Lee and Amy Lin won in a strong 6-3 fashion, putting UC San Diego down 1 game to go into supertiebreaker. After breaking the next game, it all came down to one last tiebreaker to see who would represent SOCAL at nationals. We quickly went down 0-5 going to 7, in the tiebreaker. After winning the next point, our team expected a huge comeback, but in the end, we came short. Never has our team felt so together than in that moment after the lost. We will use all our efforts to receive a bid for next year’s nationals by placing in Spring Invitational.

For UC San Diego-B, the weekend opened up with an early match-up between the group favorites: UC San Diego -B and SDSU-A. A yearlong rivalry between the newcomer-filled UC San Diego team and the revamped SDSU team made its fourth appearance on Saturday morning bright and early. The men’s doubles of Allen Gao and Justin Yang went neck and neck against the Aztecs team, trading breaks only once throughout the set. Just like the previous meetings this year, the match went into a tiebreaker at 5 games apiece. It all came down to the sudden death point at 4-4 in the tiebreaker, only to end with an underhand serve to clinch the match and take the set 6-5 in UC San Diego’s favor. On the girl’s end, Celyne Moh and Hannah Folk battled it out with the veteran pair from the Aztecs women’s side. Many breaks were traded between the team, but a final hold from SDSU brought the girls to a loss at 4-6. Despite the loss, the UC San Diego girls fought hard and kept the match only at a one game difference. Mikaela McNally went in for singles and dominated her opponent early on, leading up at 5-2. But her opponent did not falter and climbed her way back into the set, taking it back to a tiebreaker. Mikaela prevailed in the end, winning the set. Despite being down a decent number of games going into mixed, Tim Harris started off his tournament career for UC San Diego guns blazing in the mixed set, partnered with Josephine Kozlowski. With a pair of quick hands and seemingly unstoppable reach, Tim and Josephine took the set 6-4 in deciding fashion. Although the crowd cheered valiantly for UC San Diego, the team eventually fell in overtime with a narrow 23-27 loss.

The other two matches were decisive victories for the B-team. While the A-team played Pepperdine-A, the B-team played Pepperdine-B alongside them. The result: a victory over them only dropping the women’s doubles set but claiming the rest handily. The following match after between the B-team and Cal Poly Pomona was more one-sided, dropping only 5 games total. Going into Sunday, the team had a tough draw ahead of them in the silver bracket but had their hopes high. Their first match-up was against SDSU’s B-team. Each of the matches were close in score, leaving only a small lead going into mixed doubles. Despite the team dropping the men’s singles in a hard fought battle, the mixed doubles team of Tim and Josephine had no need for overtime when they easily swept the mixed set 6-2.

The following match against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s B-team was a different story altogether. The men’s doubles pulled together an enormous victory over the opposing duo, winning 6-3 with tensions high during and after the match. The women’s doubles team of Mikaela and Celyne fought hard, but ultimately fell to their opponents. Chris went into singles and despite his loss, managed to score a few games and keep the team in contention. Despite the numerous disadvantage going into the mixed set, Tim and Josephine once again dominated their opponents handily. Unfortunately for the team, Cal Poly SLO took the match in overtime and sent the B-team packing their bags.

The results of the weekend were not so much the focus for the team. Despite the loss to the eventual silver bracket winners, the team did well and fought hard to represent UC San Diego at regionals this year next to the A-team. Each win was a deciding victory over the other team, while each loss was only a few games from turning it into a win. With the Spring Invitational set in their sights, the B-team is definitely on course to be the next dominant silver bracket team alongside the likes of Cal Poly and UCLA.

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Women carry UC San Diego-A and B to top 4 finishes at UCLA

POSTED BY LAUREN SAWVELLE

This tournament was staged for greatness. We sent two teams, UC San Diego-A and UC San Diego-B, to compete in the UCLA Fall Tournament. Coming off from a 3rd – 4th place finish a couple weeks ago at SDSU, we knew we could compete at the top level against the top teams. In day one of round robin play, UC San Diego-A faced Cal-Poly SLO-A, USC-B, and UCR-B. We knew that to make it into gold draw, we needed to start off strong against one of the best teams in SoCal, Cal-Poly SLO. After two big doubles wins, the Tritons led 12-7 against the Mustangs going into singles. In her first round of singles, ex-varsity Paula Chou won in a dominating fashion 6-1. Going into the last set of mixed doubles, we had a huge lead of 9 games. Unfortunately, our over-confidence got the best of us as we threw away the lead and ended up losing in super tiebreaker, resulting in our defeat 22-23. After the upsetting defeat, we had to bounce back to fight against the second team of USC. It was a long enduring battle and the Tritons only led 4 games going into mixed against the Trojans. Thankfully, Captain Kyle Vo and freshman Smita Sabada crushed the mixed in a quick and decisive 6-2 victory and a final score line of 24-16. To end the first day, UC San Diego-A defeated UCR-B, 30-8 on a huge momentum win (6-5) by men’s doubles pair, Ryan Lee and Justin Yang.

The A team went into the second day as the 4th seed in gold draw of the 8 team bracket, having to go up against UCLA-B. It started with a huge victory by the still undefeated doubles pair of Ariel Lee and Qing “Vivian” Wen. The singles pushed the gap from a two game advantage to a nine game advantage as Captain Erik Wu closes out the men’s singles in a strong 6-3 finish. History did not repeat itself this time, as the mixed closed out the nine game advantage in the second game of overtime leading to the Tritons victory of 25-19. In the semi-finals, the Tritons had to go up against the top team of Southern California, UCLA-A, whom placed 4th in nationals last year. We were huge underdogs going into the match, but we proved to be a challenge. Kyle Vo and Ryan Lee won against the extremely strong UCLA men’s doubles pair on sudden death point, 6-5 (5-4). A lot of ground still had to be made up as the team approached singles down five games. Still undefeated in women’s singles in her first tournament, MVP Paula Chou defeated one of the strongest girl’s singles players 6-4. To end our strong run and placing us 3-4th in the tournament, mixed pair Paulan (Paula Chou and Ryan Lee) won mixed 6-4, but failed to catch back up in games ending the score at 19-26 against the future champions of the tournament.

In the group stage, UC San Diego-B played UCSB-A, SDSU-A, and UCLA-B, and while we ended up going 1-2, they were all hotly contested. In particular, the girls did extremely well throughout the entire tournament, while the boys took a bit longer to get settled, but everyone was firing on all cylinders come elimination bracket. Kristen Thorne and Mikaela McNally won 4 out of 5 doubles matches throughout the entire tournament, and combined with a huge performance by Steffi del Rosario in singles, gave the team a 12-0 lead against UCSB-A. Unfortunately, our talented freshman Michael White was battling some physical issues on top of playing stellar competition from SDSU-A and UCSB-A when he had to be subbed out for Anurag Coramulta, who came through with two clutch wins against USC-B and UCLA-C in the Silver Bracket. Allen Gao, another superb freshman, teamed up with Charlie Tamer to crack 9 aces between the two of them in their thrilling 6-4 victory against USC-B. In mixed doubles, Brian Bliss and Josephine Kozlowski had the most exciting match of the tournament against UCLA-C in the Silver Bracket quarter-finals, winning their set 6-4 securing a 21-20 win sending the team into the semi-finals. Our B team had a bit of a rough time during group stage but displayed tremendous resilience and really found themselves when it mattered and ended up tying for 1st place in the Silver Bracket. Overall, the team is finally settling in as a top 4 team in Southern California, and with a little practice it doesn’t seem too far to say that we can place top four at regionals and guarantee our spot at the 2016 Nationals held in Cary, North Carolina.

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Tritons take home 3rd-4th at SDSU First Annual Tennis Tournament

POSTED BY LAUREN SAWVELLE

Freshmen Smita Sabada and doubles pair, Ariel Lee and Qing “Vivian” Wen go undefeated in UCSD-A 3rd-4th place finish at SDSU First Annual Tennis Tournament held on November 7-8 at San Diego State.

The team had a tough pool going into the first day of the tournament, having to play Pepperdine-B, SDSU-B and rivals UCI-A. UCSD gained momentum in their first round against Pepperdine-B as the team doesn’t lose a single set to win 30-9. In the next round, the team’s undefeated spree continues as Co-Captain Erik Wu rallies to win Men’s Singles 6-4. The rest went as well as one could hope winning a whooping 30-7 against SDSU-B. The toughest opponents in-group stages were rivals UCI. Although they played only two returning members from their team last year, we knew they’d be the toughest obstacle. Men’s doubles, Co-Captain Kyle Vo and returner Justin Yang win in a flashy 6-2 fashion. The rest of the team followed with as Smita Sabada had a crushing victory of 6-2 against her toughest opponent yet.

The domination didn’t end there as the team secured the first seed going into bracket play on Sunday by beating UCI 25-17. 8 of 16 teams made it to the following day to the single elimination bracket and with the first seed, UCSD was set to face CSUN. CSUN proved to be a much harder match than expected as the 3 of the 4 matches leading up to mixed ended within a two game differential. With the score close, mixed doubles pair, Charles “Charlie” Tamer and Freshmen Mikaela “Illinois” McNally was sent off to finish the first round. The mixed match ended as quick as it began as the mixed pair won in a dominating fashion of 6-1, pushing the team into the semi finals where they would face host SDSU-A. The team hoped for revenge as the opponents took them out in the last tournament. We were up against very familiar faces as the battle for San Diego began. Ariel and Vivian win in a heart-throbbing tiebreaker, 6-5 while men’s doubles lose in a close 5-6. Freshmen Smita took the results in her own hands as she won against two different opponents, 6-1. At this point, the team felt so close to the final match as UCSD was up 4 games going into the final match. Needless to say, it ended in heartbreaking fashion as host SDSU and soon champions would win the mixed set 6-0 setting the final score 22-24. All together, it was a great experience to see the vast amount of improvement we have made over the last month. It does not seem far to say that we can take home the tournament victory in the next upcoming tournament at UCLA on November 21-22.

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Feb 20 Tennis

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

Charged from SoCal Sectionals, UC San Diego Wins UCI Winter Classic

Coming off a highly emotional sectionals loss, almost three weeks prior, we brought three teams to UCI with fire in our hearts and one goal in mind: dominating the tournament. The A-Team had a pretty rough first day having to go against hosts UCI-A and a strong second team in USC-B. The weekend started off with a landslide victory over CSU-Fullerton, 30-6. In the next round, we faced who we thought would be our strongest opponents in the tournament, UCI-A. We took a strong 6 game lead after doubles winning both sets 6-3, 6-3. In her first tournament at UC San Diego playing singles, Qing “Vivian” Wen won in a demanding 6-2 fashion while Captain Erik Wu followed up with a big 6-3 win over an opponent who had beaten him before. Unfortunately, the pairing Kyle Vo and Amy Lin lost the set in a sudden death point, but manage to close out the victory by winning the next game. In the last match of the first day, Erik Wu continues his revenge spree by winning 6-2 against another opponent that he previously lost too. It was a strong showing for the first day, going 3-0 and being placed into gold draw.

In the second day of the tournament, we were set off to play against UCI-B. Men’s doubles pairing, Charles Tamer and Alexander Loh staved off a comeback, finishing the match 6-4. The domination in women’s singles continued as Vivian won another match 6-2. The mixed doubles pair once against closed the fight between the two teams in overtime. UCLA-A was the most hyped up team in the tournament, probably with favor to win the tournament. We started off with an even score out of doubles as the undefeated pair of Vivian and Amy won in a dominating 6-1 fashion. After singles, there was a small three game lead going into mixed. Kyle Vo and Amy Lin start off with a quick break and ahead 3-1 on the first switch. After unexpectedly losing the next two games, they kept the mental fortitude to close the match 6-3. Finally, the A-Team was bound for a finals after a few semi-finals appearances. Set to play against USC-A, which on the way had defeated two other UC schools. In their final doubles match, Amy and Vivian went 6-0 in the match and 6-0 for the weekend. Vivian continued her absolute dominance with a 6-1 victory in singles, making her 12-0 in the tournament. Erik Wu lost against a very strong opponent in a close match that led to a tiebreak. For the final match, Goddess Amy Lin and Kyle Vo win in sudden death. A fitting ending for a very necessary tournament win for the Tritons.

On Saturday, the B-Team was slated to play UCI-C, Fullerton-B, and, finally, USC-A. We opened with a strong start in men’s doubles, where first year, Kyohei Takiya, and veteran, Richard Mendoza, routed their opponents 6-1. Women’s doubles started shaky due to nerves, but our only two girls on the team, Renee Walton and Denise Ogranovich, were able to rally from a 1-4 deficit to win 6-4. Singles was our strong point for our matches on Saturday. Women’s singles was played by Renee Walton who displayed relentless domination of her opponents. Men’s singles was played by veteran, Tokunosuke Takahashi. Both played supreme tennis resulting in 6-0 and 6-1, respectively. Mixed doubles was played by another veteran of the team, Denise Ogranovich, and B-team captain, Anurag Coramutla. The pairing played well, closing out the match with a 6-1 victory, defeating UCI-C with a final score of 30-7. Moving into the next matchup, against Fullerton-B, we were in complete control. With the same line-up, the B-Team went up nine games after doubles and then were up an outstanding twenty-one games after singles. Mixed closed out the fight with an annihilating 6-0 win. In our last match of the first day, the B-Team faced the toughest opponent in the pool. It was closely contested, however, the scoreline did not end in our favor. Facing overwhelming loses in all matches, except Women’s Singles (Renee Walton: 6-1) and Men’s Singles (Tokunosuke Takahashi: 3-6), we fell to USC-A 15-25. However, despite this loss, our competitiveness in the match and our dominance in the early part of the day secured a spot in Gold Draw, on Sunday, as the 5th seed.

 

Going into Sunday, the B-Team was ready to fight for every game. Our first match was against a tough UCLA-B team who was playing at a very high level. Unfortunately, even with the addition of two new players, Brian Bliss and Ariel Lee, and a change in lineup, we were unable to get anything going, and lost 12-30. It was not over yet, we moved into the back draw and this is where the B-Team, despite losing both of our matches, showed our competitive spirit and “never-say-die” attitude. In our match against UCI-A, each set was highly contested. Women’s Doubles, played by Denise and Ariel, played a very close match, winning 6-3. Renee Walton played a tight match at women’s singles. Down 3-5, Renee rallied to send the match into a tiebreak. Unfortunately, she was not able to pull out the win, resulting in a 5-6 loss. Mixed Doubles, now played by Ariel and Anurag faced a tough ask, a 10-game comeback. Despite the team fighting hard, it ended with a 4-6 loss, sealing the match 15-27. Our last match of the day was against UCI-B, a team which was also pretty dangerous. Both of our doubles teams faced 3-6 losses. In a six game deficit, we needed our singles players to step up, and they did just that. Renee Walton, dominated her opponent, winning 6-3. Brian Bliss, once again, got the nod to play singles; however, despite playing some amazing tennis was not able to get it done on the big points. Down 2-5, Tokunosuke was substituted in, and the match become very interesting. Tokunosuke saved 4 match points in his effort to level the match at 5-5 against a hard-hitting UCI-B player. Tokunosuke went on to lose the tiebreak, but his huge comeback, put us only 4 games behind, going into the mixed doubles match. Ariel and Anurag, represented the team in mixed and played a very close match, filled with big serves, crazy volleys, and a lot of “Come ons!” The match went down to a sudden death point in the tiebreak. Unfortunately, like the trend of the day, it did not go our way, and the match was lost 22-27.

 

Despite the tough draw that the C-Team had to face on day one, individually they performed well. Newcomer Ben Cauffman and veteran Michael Nacinopa lost a close match to UCLA-B’s men’s doubles 4-6, a strong showing considering it was their first tournament match of the year. Bruce Fanz made his debut match as well in singles, playing tough opponents in just about every round. The men’s doubles team steamrolled CSU Northridge’s doubles team 6-2, but the pairing of Srivaths Kalyan and Ben Cauffman lost to UCSB-A’s doubles team in a close tiebreaker the following round. Afterwads, Michael Nacinopa and Celyne Moh played the mixed set against UCSB-A and narrowly lost to them in a tiebreaker. On the women’s side, the combination of Rachel Storer, Celyne Moh, and Hannah Folk fought hard against the other teams but fell short.  Hannah Folk played into singles most matches while Rachel and Celyne played the doubles, with Celyne playing mixed the majority of the tournament.

 

The second day went smoother now that the stronger teams had moved on out of the group. The first round was up against CSU Fullerton. Ben and Michael went into doubles and narrowly lost 3-6 despite being up a break, while Celyne and Rachel took the extremely close set 6-4. The following match against UC Riverside was a lot tougher, facing off against the one seed in silver bracket. The doubles teams of Ben and Srivaths, Celyne and Rachel, fell to their opponents in long matches. However, in the singles department, Bruce absolutely dominated his opponent when he failed to realize Bruce was left-handed, forcing a substitution that was far too late to salvage the match.

 

Overall, among the three teams all faced very different experiences from the tournament. A-Team won the tournament, B-Team placed high into gold draw for the first time, but experienced defeat against very strong teams, and C-Team was so close to experience their first taste at victory. Through our mixed experience, we can say that we are all equally anticipating Arizona Spring Invitational where we hope to bring home a nationals bid for next year.

 

 

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Feb 6 & 7 Tennis

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

UC San Diego Falls Short at Sectionals, but the Future is Bright

It is the most anticipated tournament of the year, Southern California Sectionals. We sent two teams to Clairemont Mckenna in hopes to take home a nationals bid by placing in the top 5. On the first day of the tournament, UC San Diego-A hoped to win all three matches in a tough pool to place into the gold bracket. In the first match, UC San Diego-A defeated Pepperdine-A, 28-18. We thought we had the pool in the bag after beating Pepperdine-A. We were sorely mistaken as Cal-Poly B ended up being our roughest match. We played hard and won 25-24 in super-tiebreaker as Senior Amy Lin and Sophomore Alexander Loh bring home the win. In the last match of the first day, we overwhelmed CSUN-B, 30-1.

In gold bracket, we placed 7th in winning percentage, having to a face the strong 2nd seed UCSB-A. Captain Kyle Vo and Sophomore Ryan Lee undefeated for the tournament thus far, won in a sudden death point finish 6-5(5-4). With that near victory, the score was tied going into singles. Freshmen Smita Sabada overwhelmed her opponent winning 6-2 pushing the team to a 1 game lead going into the last match. In mixed, Seniors Kyle Vo and Amy Lin suffered a very close loss 4-6, losing the match and the nationals bid. After the crushingly close defeat, the newly inspired team beat UCI to go into the 5th place match for one last chance to make nationals. As if writing a drama, it was a battle of San Diego as we were set to play SDSU-A for the last spot at nationals. In this season alone, the opposing school has beaten us twice out of two meetups. It started with a close 6-4 victory in still undefeated pairing, Ryan Lee and Kyle Vo. Alexander Loh stepped in against a very tough opponent and lost in a close 3-6. Down four games going into mixed, it was a huge uphill battle to reach nationals. Pairing Ryan Lee and Amy Lin won in a strong 6-3 fashion, putting UC San Diego down 1 game to go into supertiebreaker. After breaking the next game, it all came down to one last tiebreaker to see who would represent SOCAL at nationals. We quickly went down 0-5 going to 7, in the tiebreaker. After winning the next point, our team expected a huge comeback, but in the end, we came short. Never has our team felt so together than in that moment after the lost. We will use all our efforts to receive a bid for next year’s nationals by placing in Spring Invitational.

For UC San Diego-B, the weekend opened up with an early match-up between the group favorites: UC San Diego -B and SDSU-A. A yearlong rivalry between the newcomer-filled UC San Diego team and the revamped SDSU team made its fourth appearance on Saturday morning bright and early. The men’s doubles of Allen Gao and Justin Yang went neck and neck against the Aztecs team, trading breaks only once throughout the set. Just like the previous meetings this year, the match went into a tiebreaker at 5 games apiece. It all came down to the sudden death point at 4-4 in the tiebreaker, only to end with an underhand serve to clinch the match and take the set 6-5 in UC San Diego’s favor. On the girl’s end, Celyne Moh and Hannah Folk battled it out with the veteran pair from the Aztecs women’s side. Many breaks were traded between the team, but a final hold from SDSU brought the girls to a loss at 4-6. Despite the loss, the UC San Diego girls fought hard and kept the match only at a one game difference. Mikaela McNally went in for singles and dominated her opponent early on, leading up at 5-2. But her opponent did not falter and climbed her way back into the set, taking it back to a tiebreaker. Mikaela prevailed in the end, winning the set. Despite being down a decent number of games going into mixed, Tim Harris started off his tournament career for UC San Diego guns blazing in the mixed set, partnered with Josephine Kozlowski. With a pair of quick hands and seemingly unstoppable reach, Tim and Josephine took the set 6-4 in deciding fashion.  Although the crowd cheered valiantly for UC San Diego, the team eventually fell in overtime with a narrow 23-27 loss.

The other two matches were decisive victories for the B-team. While the A-team played Pepperdine-A, the B-team played Pepperdine-B alongside them. The result: a victory over them only dropping the women’s doubles set but claiming the rest handily. The following match after between the B-team and Cal Poly Pomona was more one-sided, dropping only 5 games total. Going into Sunday, the team had a tough draw ahead of them in the silver bracket but had their hopes high. Their first match-up was against SDSU’s B-team. Each of the matches were close in score, leaving only a small lead going into mixed doubles.  Despite the team dropping the men’s singles in a hard fought battle, the mixed doubles team of Tim and Josephine had no need for overtime when they easily swept the mixed set 6-2.

The following match against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s B-team was a different story altogether. The men’s doubles pulled together an enormous victory over the opposing duo, winning 6-3 with tensions high during and after the match. The women’s doubles team of Mikaela and Celyne fought hard, but ultimately fell to their opponents. Chris went into singles and despite his loss, managed to score a few games and keep the team in contention. Despite the numerous disadvantage going into the mixed set, Tim and Josephine once again dominated their opponents handily. Unfortunately for the team, Cal Poly SLO took the match in overtime and sent the B-team packing their bags.

The results of the weekend were not so much the focus for the team. Despite the loss to the eventual silver bracket winners, the team did well and fought hard to represent UC San Diego at regionals this year next to the A-team. Each win was a deciding victory over the other team, while each loss was only a few games from turning it into a win. With the Spring Invitational set in their sights, the B-team is definitely on course to be the next dominant silver bracket team alongside the likes of Cal Poly and UCLA.

 

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Nov 21 Competitive Club Tennis

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

Women carry UC San Diego-A and B to top 4 finishes at UCLA

This tournament was staged for greatness. We sent two teams, UC San Diego-A and UC San Diego-B, to compete in the UCLA Fall Tournament. Coming off from a 3rd – 4th place finish a couple weeks ago at SDSU, we knew we could compete at the top level against the top teams. In day one of round robin play, UC San Diego-A faced Cal-Poly SLO-A, USC-B, and UCR-B. We knew that to make it into gold draw, we needed to start off strong against one of the best teams in SoCal, Cal-Poly SLO. After two big doubles wins, the Tritons led 12-7 against the Mustangs going into singles. In her first round of singles, ex-varsity Paula Chou won in a dominating fashion 6-1. Going into the last set of mixed doubles, we had a huge lead of 9 games. Unfortunately, our over-confidence got the best of us as we threw away the lead and ended up losing in super tiebreaker, resulting in our defeat 22-23. After the upsetting defeat, we had to bounce back to fight against the second team of USC. It was a long enduring battle and the Tritons only led 4 games going into mixed against the Trojans. Thankfully, Captain Kyle Vo and freshman Smita Sabada crushed the mixed in a quick and decisive 6-2 victory and a final score line of 24-16. To end the first day, UC San Diego-A defeated UCR-B, 30-8 on a huge momentum win (6-5) by men’s doubles pair, Ryan Lee and Justin Yang.

The A team went into the second day as the 4th seed in gold draw of the 8 team bracket, having to go up against UCLA-B. It started with a huge victory by the still undefeated doubles pair of Ariel Lee and Qing “Vivian” Wen. The singles pushed the gap from a two game advantage to a nine game advantage as Captain Erik Wu closes out the men’s singles in a strong 6-3 finish. History did not repeat itself this time, as the mixed closed out the nine game advantage in the second game of overtime leading to the Tritons victory of 25-19. In the semi-finals, the Tritons had to go up against the top team of Southern California, UCLA-A, whom placed 4th in nationals last year. We were huge underdogs going into the match, but we proved to be a challenge. Kyle Vo and Ryan Lee won against the extremely strong UCLA men’s doubles pair on sudden death point, 6-5 (5-4). A lot of ground still had to be made up as the team approached singles down five games. Still undefeated in women’s singles in her first tournament, MVP Paula Chou defeated one of the strongest girl’s singles players 6-4. To end our strong run and placing us 3-4th in the tournament, mixed pair Paulan (Paula Chou and Ryan Lee) won mixed 6-4, but failed to catch back up in games ending the score at 19-26 against the future champions of the tournament.

In the group stage, UC San Diego-B played UCSB-A, SDSU-A, and UCLA-B, and while we ended up going 1-2, they were all hotly contested. In particular, the girls did extremely well throughout the entire tournament, while the boys took a bit longer to get settled, but everyone was firing on all cylinders come elimination bracket. Kristen Thorne and Mikaela McNally won 4 out of 5 doubles matches throughout the entire tournament, and combined with a huge performance by Steffi del Rosario in singles, gave the team a 12-0 lead against UCSB-A. Unfortunately, our talented freshman Michael White was battling some physical issues on top of playing stellar competition from SDSU-A and UCSB-A when he had to be subbed out for Anurag Coramulta, who came through with two clutch wins against USC-B and UCLA-C in the Silver Bracket. Allen Gao, another superb freshman, teamed up with Charlie Tamer to crack 9 aces between the two of them in their thrilling 6-4 victory against USC-B. In mixed doubles, Brian Bliss and Josephine Kozlowski had the most exciting match of the tournament against UCLA-C in the Silver Bracket quarter-finals, winning their set 6-4 securing a 21-20 win sending the team into the semi-finals. Our B team had a bit of a rough time during group stage but displayed tremendous resilience and really found themselves when it mattered and ended up tying for 1st place in the Silver Bracket.

Overall, the team is finally settling in as a top 4 team in Southern California, and with a little practice it doesn’t seem too far to say that we can place top four at regionals and guarantee our spot at the 2016 Nationals held in Cary, North Carolina.

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Nov 7 Competitive Tennis

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

Tritons take home 3rd-4th at SDSU First Annual Tennis Tournament

Freshmen Smita Sabada and doubles pair, Ariel Lee and Qing “Vivian” Wen go undefeated in UCSD-A 3rd-4th place finish at SDSU First Annual Tennis Tournament held on November 7-8 at San Diego State.

The team had a tough pool going into the first day of the tournament, having to play Pepperdine-B, SDSU-B and rivals UCI-A. UCSD gained momentum in their first round against Pepperdine-B as the team doesn’t lose a single set to win 30-9. In the next round, the team’s undefeated spree continues as Co-Captain Erik Wu rallies to win Men’s Singles 6-4. The rest went as well as one could hope winning a whooping 30-7 against SDSU-B. The toughest opponents in-group stages were rivals UCI. Although they played only two returning members from their team last year, we knew they’d be the toughest obstacle. Men’s doubles, Co-Captain Kyle Vo and returner Justin Yang win in a flashy 6-2 fashion. The rest of the team followed with as Smita Sabada had a crushing victory of 6-2 against her toughest opponent yet.

The domination didn’t end there as the team secured the first seed going into bracket play on Sunday by beating UCI 25-17. 8 of 16 teams made it to the following day to the single elimination bracket and with the first seed, UCSD was set to face CSUN. CSUN proved to be a much harder match than expected as the 3 of the 4 matches leading up to mixed ended within a two game differential. With the score close, mixed doubles pair, Charles “Charlie” Tamer and Freshmen Mikaela “Illinois” McNally was sent off to finish the first round. The mixed match ended as quick as it began as the mixed pair won in a dominating fashion of 6-1, pushing the team into the semi finals where they would face host SDSU-A. The team hoped for revenge as the opponents took them out in the last tournament. We were up against very familiar faces as the battle for San Diego began. Ariel and Vivian win in a heart-throbbing tiebreaker, 6-5 while men’s doubles lose in a close 5-6. Freshmen Smita took the results in her own hands as she won against two different opponents, 6-1. At this point, the team felt so close to the final match as UCSD was up 4 games going into the final match. Needless to say, it ended in heartbreaking fashion as host SDSU and soon champions would win the mixed set 6-0 setting the final score 22-24. All together, it was a great experience to see the vast amount of improvement we have made over the last month. It does not seem far to say that we can take home the tournament victory in the next upcoming tournament at UCLA on November 21-22.

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Oct 17 Tennis

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

UC San Diego Will Rise Again After Lose in Cal Poly

UC San Diego brought one team to the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Annual Fall Tournament held on October 17-18th. It was our hope to start off the new year strong, especially after the loss of last year’s captain Evan Dankiewicz and former varsity player, Melody Wu. The Tritons started off strong with a dominant performance in Women’s Doubles, as returning player Ariel Lee and newcomer Qing Wen crush Cal Poly SLO 6-1. Men’s Doubles followed with a close victory as Charles Tamer and John Rabalais win 6-4. Up 12-5 going into singles, we were highly confident in taking home the victory. With no loss of momentum, singles kept the lead while mixed finished the matched at 26-17. With the first win in the bag, the butterflies seem to slowly disappear.

Unfortunately, the next round did not fair as well. In a flash, USC-A was up 1-12 after doubles. Men’s and Women’s singles put up a much more valiant fight with Mikaela McNally leading the charge with a 6-4 score in her first victory as a part of UC San Diego club tennis. Down 11-22, mixed doubles pair, Charles Tamer and Mikaela McNally attempted to make the comeback. With a crushing 6-2 victory for the pair, UC San Diego was only down 17-24. The match was lost on the next game, with the finishing score of 17-25, marking the end of day 1.

The next day, we were all very prepared to play against rival San Diego school, SDSU. Captain Kyle Vo and Charles Tamer attempted to take the W for UC San Diego in Men’s Doubles. The match was never more than a one game differential and ends up going into tiebreaker. It ended with a loss for the home team 5-6 with a deficit of 7-12 going into singles. Captain Erik Wu, who is 1-1 at this point, attempts to end his weekend positive. A long tough match for the captain, but Erik Wu gets a huge break of serve bringing the score to 5-4 and only needs to hold his serve to bring the match to an end. He wins big in the last game. Lastly, being slightly down going into mixed, John Rabalais and Denise Ogranovich attempt to take the victory home. It was another jaw-dropping match that ended in a victory in tie-breaker as John and Denise connect on their returns. They continue in overtime and won two more games. Unfortunately, they lost the next game, ending UC San Diego’s run in the tournament 22-27.

Although the tournament did not turn out as planned, we now know not to come into a tournament with too much confidence. We will be much more prepared coming this November at our next tournament as SDSU. With the first tournament in the books, we still see a bright future for the team as new members, Mikaela Mcnally, Qing Wei, and many others show lots of potential.

 

 

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Mar 19 Tennis

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

SoNo Championships

 

The first annual SoNo tournament was held at UCLA, hosting teams from both Northern California and Southern California to play in local, friendly matches against one another. UC San Diego sent a small team to participate in the tournament, hoping to take the crown home but unfortunately fell short.

 

In the first matchup, the Tritons went up against CSU Fullerton. Allen Gao and Justin Yang were sent into doubles on the men’s side while Qing Wen and Ariel Lee were playing on the women’s side. The men’s doubles prevailed in a nail-biting tiebreaker, winning the set 6-5, while the girls cruised to a smooth 6-3 victory. In singles, Brian Bliss and Qing Wen took the stage, but unfortunately both lost their sets 4-6, with Ariel Lee substituting in at 3-3 midway through the set. Kyle Vo and Celyne Moh went into the mixed set with both schools tied in games, and brought it to a tiebreaker to decide it all. Alexander Loh substituted into the match prior to the tiebreaker, but the mixed pair barely lost the tiebreaker 2-5, putting CSU Fullerton into the finals and putting UC San Diego in the consolation 3rd place match.

 

In the consolation final, the Tritons played the sole team from Northern California, Saint Mary’s College. The doubles pairs made another appearance, Gao and Yang, Wen and Lee, winning their sets easily 6-1 and 6-0 respectively. Alexander Loh handily won his singles set 6-0, while Celyne Moh took an enormous 4-2 lead before substituting out due to injury, with Vivian Wen finishing the match 6-3 for her. Brian Bliss and Ariel Lee went into the mixed doubles and closed it off 6-0, finishing strong for the team.

 

Overall the team was disappointed by their narrow first round loss, but they were still hopeful going into their second match. The players performed well in all matches throughout the day and look forward to the future iterations of the tournament.

 

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