Looking to reach the NCAA tournament, the No. 16-ranked UCSD men’s tennis team was given the undesirable task of facing off against No. 13 Azusa Pacific University on the road in an NCAA West Regional match. Having already split their season series, with UCSD winning at APU but losing at home against the second team in the West Region, the Tritons hoped to settle the score once and for all. When the dust finally settled, the Tritons stood victorious, improving to 14–9 on the season, while the Cougars fell to 20–5.
Starting the day with the doubles matchups, the Tritons turned into a well-oiled machine, handily dealing with everything APU threw at them. Led by senior Horea Porutiu and junior Alexandre Miaule’s stomping match victory of 8–4, the team kicked the game off in stride, putting the Cougars in a sizeable deficit from the get-go.
Following up with the singles matchups, the overall trend of the day remained consistent. Sophomore Eric Tseng was first up, facing off against the second-ranked Cougar Jan Meyer from APU. Tseng put up a fight, but ultimately fell in both sets, giving the Cougars their first and only victory of the day.
Thankfully, APU didn’t have any more ranked players to play, which led to Miaule and Porutiu wiping the floor with their respective opponents, each winning in just two sets. While the rest of the matches remained unfinished, the Tritons’ early lead was enough to push them to glory. At the end of the day, UCSD wound up crushing APU 5–1.
“It was a great environment for us,” Head Coach Timmer Willing said in his postgame press conference. “We came in with a lot of energy and started off strong with the doubles and put them in a tough situation.”
With the win, the Tritons head to Denver to duel Northwest Missouri State University in the Round of 16 on Wednesday, May 18.