UCSD Starts Off the Year Strong at ASU Sparky's Showdown
Saturday morning, UCSD-A played their first pool match against GCU-A and started with a strong display of Women's doubles from Alyson Hirota and Sisi Leong, winning their match 6 - 1 in a dominant fashion! Men's doubles Raj Tantuwaya and Sahil Iyer faced a very tough doubles opponent, although not getting the results they wanted, they secured 5 vital games to give their team a 4-game point lead. Women's singles Aubrie Weissbuch started her year off with a win in a stylish fashion of powerful groundstrokes to every corner of the court, winning her match 6 - 2! Men's singles Alex Ko faced a really experienced singles opponent, although they were neck and neck in the first 6 games of the set, unfortunately, didn't get the result he wanted. Coming into the last Mixed doubles, Lesa Ritchie and Ethan Liu although had a comfortable 5-game lead, still felt pressured at the start, but eventually pulled through and secured the win 6 - 4, bringing the final score to 26 - 19 against GCU-A!
Unfortunately, the rest of the Saturday pool matches were washed away by a sudden thunderstorm.
Sunday morning, UCSD-A played their first Gold Bracket match against NAU-A and like yesterday, Women's doubles Alyson Hirota and Sisi Leong obliterated their opponents in a timely manner to give UCSD-A a 6 - 1 lead! Men's doubles Raj Tantuwaya and Sahil Iyer learning from their mistakes made yesterday defeated their opponents with solid doubles play, giving UCSD-A a 10-game point lead! Both Women's and Men's singles faced off 2 very solid singles opponents and unfortunately didn't get the result they wanted. Finally coming down to the Mixed doubles match, both Lesa Ritchie and Ethan Liu displayed solid doubles coordination to win their match in a comfortable 6 - 3 fashion, which concluded in UCSD-A advancing to the semi-finals of the Gold Bracket!
UCSD-A played their semi-final match against UofA-A. Women's doubles Alyson Hirota and Sisi Leong feeling a bit nervous, started the match a bit tight with a score of 2 - 2, but after switching sides, all pressure disappeared, winning 4 games straight and ending the match with a score of 6 - 2! Just like the Women's doubles, Women's singles Aubrie Weissbuch started the match with a score of 2 - 2, before turning on the boosters and winning the match 6 - 2! Both Men's doubles and singles met really strong opponents but still played some great tennis. Coming into the Mixed doubles match, Lesa Ritchie and Ethan Liu knew they were only down by 3-game points and had to focus up to win or force overtime. Although coming off a hot 4 - 0 start, they ended up winning the match 6 - 5, which forced overtime while being down 2-game points, but unfortunately, they lost their very first game in overtime.
Despite their loss against UofA-A, UCSD-A ended top 4 in the ASU Sparky's Showdown, a great start to what is shaping up to be a very successful year.
Now onto the B team! On the first day of play, Saturday, the Tritons started out with a tough opponent, University of New Mexico's A team. Highlights of the match included Nika Matsuzawa pulling out a close match in women's singles, winning 6-5 in an intense tiebreak. Additionally, the men's doubles team of Nakul Nandhakumar and Dennis Dang lost a close match, losing 5-6 in another tiebreak. Going into mixed, B team found themselves with a 7 game deficit, a tall task for the mixed team of Breanna Ford and Nick Moy. However, despite the pressure, the dynamic duo pulled out a close 6-4 win to send the match into overtime. However, they were not able to send the match to a supertiebreaker, and the Tritons lost the match 22-28.
As with A team, we were hit with a torrentuous downpour of rain, and were unable to play any more pool matches on Saturday. However, after resting up for the rest of the day, the B team was excited to see that they would have the opportunity to play in the silver bracket the following day!
After being given a bye in the first round of the bracket, the Tritons were ready to face the triumphant University of Arizona C team in the second round of the bracket. Our women's doubles team of Breanna and Vivian Lee played solid and put away their match with a score of 6-3, and men's doubles managed to pull out 3 games in a close loss, tying the score up after doubles. Men's singles player Matthew Powley lost a tough match 2-6, and Nika was barely outlasted by her opponent in a long match that ended with a tiebreaker, putting the Tritons down by 5 games going into mixed. However, this did not faze Vivian and Nick in the slightest, and they took a decisive win, only dropping one game, evening the score up. This sent the match to an intense supertiebreaker, winner take all. And, no surprise to anyone, Nick and Vivian put the team on their back and won 7-5, sending the B team squad to the finals of the silver bracket!
For their last match of the tournament, the Tritons were set to play the winner from the other side of the bracket, Grand Canyon University's B team! Once again, the women's doubles team won their match decisively with a score of 6-3, and with the men's doubles falling 3-6, the score was tied after doubles. Vivian Lee, usually a doubles player, was thrown into singles and absolutely killed it, beating a very capable opponent 6-3. On the men's side, Nakul also played his first singles match in a tournament and put up an amazing fight in a long match, losing 4-6 to another amazing opponent. This left the team with a one game lead for Matthew and Bre, the mixed team for the last match. They handled the pressure easily and won in decisive fashion, only allowing one game, giving a final score of 25-19 for the final match. And with this the UCSD B Team won the Silver Bracket of Sparky's Showdown. Even better, they were given a big trophy, most cherished by club president Bre, who also coincidentally was the one who helped close out the match in mixed doubles! Overall, it was a super successful weekend for the B team, with everyone playing outstanding and working together to succeed in their matches. It was real Phoenix, we can't wait to see you again in three weeks for Fall Invitational!!