UCSD at the 2022 NCTTA West Regional Championships
The NCTTA West Regional Championships this year was held at Orange County Table Tennis Academy with ten of the top schools on the West Coast participating! Four events were held as usual: Coed Teams, Women’s Teams, Men’s Singles, and Women’s Singles. Representing UC San Diego’s Coed Varsity Team at this tournament was Feng Yi Liao, Brandon Koh, Yaohong Wang, Axel Yarahuaman, and Bryson Liu. UCSD’s Women’s Varsity Team was represented by Jaslyn Lu, Sophia Zhou, Joyce Kim, Athena Li, Christina Mac, Yikai Zhang, and Vivian Wu.
UCSD Coed Team’s round robin group consisted of University of Washington, UC Davis, and UC Irvine. UCSD’s first matchup of the day was against University of Washington. Brandon’s first match went down the wire, narrowly losing 12-14 in the fifth game. Feng Yi, Yaohong, and Bryson were each able to take a set in their respective matches, but weren’t able to win the match overall. UCSD bounced back strong against UC Davis. After being down 0-2, Feng Yi fought back against Steven Gong, winning 3 straight sets and the match 3-2. Brandon was able to build off Feng Yi’s win with a quick 3-0 defeat against his opponent. Lastly, Yaohong pulled in a 3-2 win over his opponent, securing the last of the three matches necessary to defeat UC Davis (Overall score was 3-1). In the third matchup, although Feng Yi wasn’t able to win his match, Brandon, Yaohong, and Bryson all won theirs, giving UCSD the 3-1 win over UC Irvine. Advancing from their round robin group, UCSD faced UCLA next in the Quarterfinals. Although Yaohong was able to win his match, UCSD lost 1-3 overall. Despite not being at full strength, the Coed team performed strongly and will continue to do their best in the future!\
UCSD Women’s Team went up first against University of Washington as well and it was a very close matchup. Due to victorious efforts from Jaslyn and Athena, the score got to 2-2, leading to the tie-breaking doubles match. The scores for the first four sets of this match were 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, and 4-11. Unsurprisingly, the fifth set was as even as can be. Unfortunately, UCSD ended up losing 9-11, giving University of Washington the 3-2 overall win. Matchups against Stanford and UC Davis went much smoother, both ending with victories, 3-1 and 3-2 respectively. Advancing from their round robin group, they encountered the top-seeded team, UC Berkeley, in the semi-finals. While Christina was able to win a set in her match, UCSD was not able to overcome the eventual champions. In the consolation match, UCSD faced Stanford once again and came out with the same result, a 3-1 win. As a result, UCSD Women’s Team got 3rd place in the team tournament!
In Singles, neither Brandon nor Yaohong advanced from their round robin group, but Brandon did manage to win one of his matches. Jaslyn was able to advance from her round robin group but was eventually stopped in the Quarterfinals.
The team took a lot away from this tournament - strategically, mentally, and physically. They will continue to work hard and are determined to improve for future tournaments!