UC San Diego Goes to USAB Collegiate Nationals
This past weekend, April 9th and 10th, UC San Diego sent in 12 players to Collegiate Nationals in Pomona, making up 11 teams. This was a national event, but only colleges from California were able to make it for the weekend. There were many great games during the weekend and our players were in many of them. This single elimination tournament proved to be a challenge for many of our teams, but we put out a good fight to the finish.
Notable matches include freshman Chris Pham and senior Thu Le who played Mixed Doubles together. In their second round they faced off against number 1 seed Jeffrey Kuo and Cherie Chow of USC. Our players garnered much attention after showing they could hold their own against the 1st seeds of the tournament. Pham/Le were able to win the first set convincingly with a score of 21-15 because their opponents were not used to playing together. In the second set, there were many fast rallies with net kills and strong smashes but our players lost with a score of 21-19. Our players rallied back in the third set and put up a good fight but lost 21-14. Despite not playing together regularly, Thu and Chris were able to show other schools that they were not to be taken lightly.
Thu was also included in Women’s Doubles with junior Bianca Wibisono. The pair played in sync and made it all the way to semi-finals with aggressive attacks and smart shot choices. They were able to grab 4th place and earn medals.
Senior Misaki Mori, upset Jacqueline Ko of USC, the 3rd seed in Women’s singles, with scores of 23-21, 18-21, and 22-20. With Misaki’s restless spirit she was able to push her opponent to the limits, testing their endurance. Down from 16-20 in the final set, she pushed through with 6 points in a row to clinch the win. Misaki was able to place 4th in singles. She also played with sophomore Ali Viettry in Mixed Doubles, where the pair made it all the way to the finals of the consolation bracket. The pair put up a good fight with great defense and strong smashes by Ali, but they were unable to finish and lost with scores of 15-21 and 16-21.
Over the course of the weekend our players have played some of their best games yet. There is still much room to grow and improve. Overall UC San Diego placed 5th at Collegiate Nationals. The team is proud and is looking forward to the future.