After a poor showing at the SDSU Invite, tennis takes nine wins at UC Santa Barbara meet
Continuing into its third week of preseason action, the UCSD men’s tennis team showed promise at the UC Santa Barbara Classic. The Tritons won nine of its 23 matches against Division I competition: Loyola Marymount University, Northern Arizona
University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara.
The Tritons appeared to easily shrug off last week’s disappointing performance at the San Diego State Aztec Invitational, where UCSD won just three of its 18 singles matches. On the road at Santa Barbara, head coach Timmer Willing felt satisfied with his team’s progress but was quick to dispel any sense of complacency.
“For the most part, I think we won against the teams we should’ve beaten,” Willing said about the UCSB Classic. “It’s not a disappointment but I’m not overly excited.”
In the singles A flight, sophomore Horea Porutiu earned UCSD’s first victory by defeating UC Davis’s Kyle Davis with scores of 6–4, 2–6, 6–1. Porutiu later fell to Loyola Marymount’s Daniel Simko in his subsequent match 6–3, 6–1.
Teammate senior Rajeev Herekar also took a match 6–3, 6–4, over UC Davis’s Parker Kelley.
In the singles B Flight, junior Andrew Malozsak continued with his strong play from last
weekend, winning two out of his four singles matches.
Triton junior Kona Luu performed particularly well, placing sixth overall out of 16 singlescompetitors in the B flight. Luu advanced to the winner’s bracket after defeating NorthernArizona’s Fabio Tomasetti 1–6, 6–1, 6–4. However, his second victory came by way of default over Berkeley’s Jack Sanford.
“The first couple days I was a little bit rusty, but then as I kept playing more matches, I was able to be more sharp — my serve was more consistent, and I was able to be mentallystronger,” Luu said.
In the singles C flight, junior Mark Meyer performed confidently, winning two out ofhis three matches, posting wins against UC Davis’ Mitch Thorp 6–1, 7–5 and NorthernArizona’s Jordan Gobatie 7–5, 6–3.
In the doubles bracket, Luu paired up with Porutiu for the first time. Together the duowon a stellar three out of four matches — though one came by way of default — ultimatelyearning them a third place finish out of eight in the doubles A flight.
“It was new for us, but we were still able to come together as a team,” Luu said. “We
definitely worked well together.”
In the doubles B flight, Meyer and Malozsak defeated Northern Arizona’s Kester Blackand Fabio Tomasetti by a tight score of 8–6. The junior pairing eventually went on to take thirdplace out of eight pairs after narrowly edging out fellow Tritons and seniors Maxence Dutreixand Rajeeve Herekar.
Despite a successful doubles tournament, Willing said that the
team’s pairings remain a work in progress, and despite moderate success, there is much work to be done.
“It was good, but I think we need to be better at what we did to make sure that we’re playing much more efficiently,” Willing said.
The Tritons will participate in an alumni tournament this weekend and will resume preseason play on Wednesday, Oct. 30 in Los Angeles for the SoCal Intercollegiate Tournament.