This weekend, Feb. 13–14, the UCSD women’s rugby team faced off against Arizona State University and the University of Arizona in back-to-back matches. The Tritons faced off against ASU first in a hard-fought game. ASU set the pace of the game early and scored on the Tritons first, but UCSD kept its identity and kept on fighting. UCSD ended the game with a 35–19 win and came out with a 50–29 win against the Wildcats against U of A the day after. This was another tough match that only made the Tritons stronger, and the women’s rugby team kept its undefeated record alive during a tiring weekend. The UCSD ruggers have a bye week and are looking forward to resting for the last leg of the season.
The Tritons began their season on Feb. 13 this year with a slow start, by dropping two out of the first three games in a non-conference matchup with UC Santa Barbara. In the first game, senior Andrew Hinkle matched up with UCSB’s Jake Renzee in a pitcher’s duel that went back and forth for most of the game. The Tritons scored one early run to get on the board in the second inning thanks to an RBI hit by freshman Seamus Beyerle. UCSB fought back with runs in the fourth and fifth innings against Andrew Hinkle, and the Tritons struggled to cash in with runners in scoring position until the seventh inning when Hinkle hit a double-down the right field line to tie the game at two. But after a close play at the plate went against the Tritons, UCSB walked off in the bottom of the seventh inning to a 3–2 win.
In the second game of the series, the Tritons came out swinging with six runs in the first inning and never looked back, with seven runs in the third inning and four in the fourth; the runs were highlighted by great games by sophomore Jordan Kassem, junior Bobby Young, senior Nathan Domico, junior Amandip Bangar and senior Jake Cloutier. The run support helped junior Yousef Koutnik get through four innings with only three runs given up; the Tritons mercied UCSB 21–6 after five innings.
In the tiebreaking game of the series, the Tritons played a back-and-forth game that featured 27 runs over nine innings. UCSB got out to a quick three-run start against junior Kevin Nieh, but the Tritons fought back with five runs in the third inning, highlighted by sophomore Jordan Kassem, junior Nick Walsh, junior Bobby Young and freshman Seamus Beyerle. UCSB made a run in the fourth, and then both teams scored three runs in the fifth, which had the Tritons holding onto a one run coming after the sixth inning. But a four-run seventh inning put the UCSB Gauchos ahead, and although the Tritons fought back with two in the eighth, including the first home run courtesy of Seamus Beyerle, it wasn’t enough to make up for the deficit, and the Tritons lost the last game 15–11.
The Tritons look to get off to a better start in conference with an upcoming series against Nothern Arizona University this weekend with one nine-inning game on Saturday at 10 a.m. and two seven-inning games on Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Valhalla High School.
Over the weekend, our Tritons competed at the UC Santa Barbara campus, where the Gauchos hosted the second tournament of the official season. Six universities were represented at the tournament: UCSD, UCSB, UCLA, San Diego State University, University of San Diego, Loyola Marymount University and Arizona University. From the start, the Tritons came out loud and boisterous. It was time for every player to embrace their battle stations to defend their winning streak. These teams were more polished than the ones the Tritons had played the weekend before, so UCSD came in ready for anything.
The matches against every team were tough but the Tritons had Alicia “Loud Bae” Chen, Sydney “Swing Away Syd” Riegert and Sarah “Striking Sarah” Reinhardt to punish any hitter trying to make it through their block; the quick hands of Gina “Jetliner” Powers and the bouncing bunny hops from Michelle “Muscle Michelle” Vuong made the front lines feared throughout the day. The ladies played long and rough rallies that had them sprawling across the court. Fortunately, the Tritons’ back lines had their front row covered. The best ball-hog to have, Emma “Every Ball is Mine” Choi, made scoring against the Tritons almost impossible along with Nataly “Lioness” Aguilar pouncing under every deflected ball to bring it back into play. The intensity with which the lady Tritons were playing made it exciting and suspenseful for the teams and, most importantly, the crowd.
One after another the Tritons defeated the competition. The last match came down to the two undefeated teams of the evening, our lady Tritons and the UCLA Bruins. This match was the most intense of the night. Both teams came out with their last bit of energy and fought into a third set battle. At last, in the third set, the Tritons ran away with the match 15–8.
This tournament was a well-deserved win by the Tritons, who fought through and remained undefeated in an eleven hour tournament. Yes, you read that right, eleven hours. Every match of the day went to three sets, proving that every team came out to play and everyone was fighting hard. Our lady Tritons hope to keep up their awesome record as they compete next weekend at the UC Davis tournament.