Men's Tennis Weekend is Feast and Famine

    The UCSD men’s tennis team played well but fell short to a tough junior college team, College of the Desert from Palm Desert, Calif., Feb. 3.

    The overall score was 6-3 in favor of the College of the Desert, but there were some highlights for the UCSD side. In singles, Sameer Chopra and Jeff Wilson won tough three-set matches, and the doubles team of senior Cory Moderhak and freshman Amir Nejad defeated the Roadrunners’ No. 3 squad.

    “”They are a tough junior college team,”” Wilson said. “”They found a way to win. It was a good practice match though, as we go into the league matches.””

    Most students don’t know about the College of the Desert, but many of their players are from foreign countries such as Brazil and Mexico. Plus, the team is fairly young, with no upper-class players. This shows the amount of young talent that the college brewed in such a short time.

    “”Usually most players from out of the country are pretty wild,”” said sophomore Sean Higginbotham. “”But these guys came out and played really well. We could have won a couple more matches, like our No. 6 singles match, because it came down to a couple points, but we played with heart and that was the biggest thing.””

    On that same day, Feb. 3, the Tritons demolished the team from United States International University 9-0 in a complete sweep of singles and doubles matches.

    Simply put by Wilson, “”our guys killed their guys.””

    This victory came off the tough road win against a quality Point Loma Nazarene team.

    Team spirit seems to be the key for this season. With five freshman players, the veterans have seemed to step up and take the initiative.

    “”It feels good to have the older guys cheering for [the freshmen],”” Wilson said. “”It has really helped a lot. In the college game, the opponents get more balls back consistently, so it is always a burst of energy to have some of your teammates rooting for you.””

    Higginbotham added that he has tried to instill in the younger players that they should have “”pride in playing for their college,”” and teach them that it will truly be a “”good experience in one’s life.””

    Looking ahead to the competition level, there is no doubt in every player’s mind that UC Davis is the key match. Davis, ranked No. 1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, is the one match many players on the team are gearing up for.

    “”Our goal is to beat UC Davis.”” Wilson said. “”Then we know we are in [the playoff] hunt. We are tending to gear our practices and style of play toward them, and if we can get ahead of them in the standings, we’re there.””

    “”Our main competition will come from UC Davis, Sonoma State University and Cal Poly Pomona,”” Higginbotham said. “”Even though we take every match one at a time, it seems like those matches are more intensified. We know we must play well against those teams, but we try to take every match seriously, regardless of the opponent.””

    The next roadblock for the team is California State University Los Angeles, a team they did not face last year. The match will take place Friday in Los Angeles at 1:30 p.m. If anyone is going home to L.A., please stop by to root for your team!

    After that comes the Saturday showdown at 1 p.m. with Cal Poly Pomona, a team that beat the Tritons in a convincing fashion last season. The match will take place at the north courts on campus.

    The men’s tennis team has something to prove this weekend against good competition.

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