UCSD Tritons Travel to Arizona for a Bid to Nationals!
UCSD A Team started off their first pool match late Friday morning with a big win over Cal Poly Pomona B Team! Alyson Hirota and Lesa Ritchie started their first women’s doubles match with a quick 6 - 0 win, meanwhile, first-time men’s doubles pair Abhishek Nisha Anish and Mehran Arabshahi ran through their opponents with another quick 6 - 0 win. Our women’s singles player Allyson Chen like usual defeated her opponent easily in a fast 6 - 0 victory. Vincent Pascaud our first-time men’s singles player for the team sliced his way through his opponent in a solid 6 - 2 win. Finally, our mixed double players Serena Ko and Jamie Wei only dropped 1 game to defeat their opponents, tallying our final score 30 - 3 against Cal Poly Pomona B Team.
UCSD A Team played against University of New Mexico A Team in their second and final match on Friday. Our women’s doubles Alyson Hirota and Lesa Ritchie started off the duel with a well-coordinated doubles play with a 6 - 1 win like clockwork! Our men’s doubles Abhishek Nisha Anish and Vincent Pascaud played against 2 very tough opponents, edging a 6 - 4 win over their opponents with powerful serves. Our women’s singles player Rachel Sherrill ran her opponent left and right around the court, ending the match with a 6 - 0 victory. Our men’s singles player Mehran Arabshahi, unfortunately, struggled a bit in his first singles match, falling just short with a score of 4 - 6. Finally, it came down to the mixed doubles pair Serena Ko and Jamie Wei to close out our victory over University of New Mexico A Team with a close 6 - 4 win, resulting in a 28 - 15 final score!
Early Saturday morning, we played our final pool match against University of Wyoming A Team, with a quick warm-up, UCSD A Team defeated their opponents 30 - 4 in a fast win to make a statement, helping us secure the #1 seed of the tournament!
After a lengthy lunch break on Saturday, UCSD A Team played their first Gold Bracket match against Cal Poly SLO B Team. Serena Ko and Alyson Hirota started off neck and neck against their opponents, but after changing sides, they turned on the boosters and secured a 6 - 2 win! Ryo Kojima and Abhishek Nisha Anish reunite after 5 months of not playing in an official tournament and fell 2 points shy of securing the win, resulting in a 5 - 6 (3 - 5) loss. Another solid win from our women’s and men’s singles players, only dropping a total of 3 games! Finally, it came down to the mixed doubles pair Rachel Sherrill and Jamie Wei to secure a very close win against their opponents, tallying the final score to a 29 - 16 win over Cal Poly SLO B Team.
In the final match on Saturday, UCSD A Team faced off against University of Minnesota B Team in their second Gold Bracket match. Our women’s and men’s doubles with a quick and clinical 6 - 2 win over their opponents gave us a 6 game point lead going into both singles matches. Our women’s singles player Allyson Chen dropped her first 2 games of the tournament, but still secured the win with her powerful forehand! Our men’s singles player Vincent Pascaud played a tough and gritty player, but with his fabulous drop shots, he defeated his opponent with a score of 6 - 3, ALLEZ! Finally, our mixed doubles players finished their matches to help secure the win over University of Minnesota B Team with a final score of 30 - 10.
Early Sunday morning, UCSD A Team played their first semi-finals match against University of Minnesota A Team. Like yesterday, Serena Ko and Alyson Hirota played a close nail-biting match, winning the match by exactly 1 point in the tiebreaker, hyping up the team with the win! With the team being up 15 games going into mixed, Rachel Sherrill and Abhishek Nisha Anish felt no pressure and rolled through their opponents like their forehands in a 6 - 1 win, defeating University of Minnesota A Team with the same score we beat their B team by, 30 - 10 WOW!
After reaching back-to-back finals at Arizona Invitational, it all comes down to the final match of the tournament for a bid to Nationals, UCSD A Team faces off against Cal Poly SLO A Team for the first time in 4 years! Alyson Hirota and Lesa Ritchie kicked off the first match with multiple back-to-back break of serves and finally holding their service game to secure a 6 - 4 win over their opponents. Ryo Kojima and Jamie Wei played at an insanely high level throughout the whole match, ending with 2 big serves from Jamie to win the tiebreaker 5 - 3 and ultimately winning their match 6 - 5! Our women’s singles Allyson Chen and Rachel Sherrill unfortunately fell short against their opponent, while our men’s singles player Vincent Pascaud nicknamed croissant lost the match by a margin of 1 point. Down 5 games going into mixed doubles, Rachel Sherrill and Abhishek Nisha Anish set their eyes to win the match and hopefully prove to win the overall match as well. Unfortunately, after losing 3 of the 4 deciding points, they fell just short with a loss of 3 - 6.
Although not the result we wanted, UCSD A Team ended their fantastic weekend in Arizona as finalists and we should all still be proud of it as it is a great achievement to reach in back-to-back years!