Women's Tennis Puts the Hurt On

    The UCSD women’s tennis team essentially took a tour of Division II last weekend and earlier this week. During the weekend, the Tritons played in the Cal Poly Pomona Invitational, a tournament that boasted some of the best teams in the country. From there the Tritons went on to play league rival San Francisco State University, a team that wasn’t fit to hold the Tritons’ water bottles.

    David Pilz

    Over this span, UCSD went 2-1 to improve their overall record to 11-5. The victory over San Francisco ran their conference record to 7-1.

    The Tritons’ first match was on Saturday against Grand Canyon University. UCSD had defeated Grand Canyon earlier in the year, but head coach Liz LaPlante was not overly confident.

    “”I wasn’t worried, because we beat them

    David Pilz

    8-1 earlier this season,”” LaPlante said, “”but they had a different line up this time. They had just gone 5-4 with Davis.””

    In the end, LaPlante had nothing to fear. Her team walked away with a 7-2 victory.

    Things got off on the right foot for the Tritons as they pulled off a sweep in doubles to be up 3-0 going into the singles competition.

    “”Their teams were tough, but for the first time all season all three doubles teams played great,”” LaPlante said.

    The most exciting of the three matches was at the top. Lyndsey Tadlock and Stephanie Moriarty lost six of the first seven games and were on the verge of collapse when they turned it all around. They went on a tear from there and took the pro set 9-7.

    In singles, as is often the case, the Tritons’ depth proved to be the deciding factor. Ashley O’Neil won a three-set match at No. 1 singles and Tadlock lost a three-setter at No. 2.

    The Tritons won three of the bottom four matches to cinch the match.

    The victory sent UCSD to the winners’ bracket, and after its second-round match was rained out, the Tritons played Barry College of Florida on Sunday.

    Barry came into the match ranked sixth in the nation, while the Tritons sported a No. 11 ranking.

    The Tritons were unable to overcome Barry, whose team was made up primarily of international scholarship players.

    In doubles, the women’s team from Barry showed their international experience, especially at the top.

    At No. 1 doubles, the Tritons’ tandem of Moriarty and Tadlock were taught a lesson, losing 8-0.

    Things were only slightly better at No. 2 doubles. Melisa Liao and Julie Westerman were only marginally in the match as they fell 8-4.

    The best match was at No. 3 doubles, where O’Neil and Mary Hung played tough and eventually came out on top, 8-6.

    In singles, the doubles duo of Liao and Westerman split up to give the Tritons their lone two victories. Liao continued her hot singles streak by winning at No. 3 singles. She won the first set in a tie-breaker and was then up 4-0 before her opponent retired due to injury.

    Westerman had a tougher time of it in her match at No. 5 singles. After posting a fairly convincing 6-2 victory in the first set, she lost the second by a score of 4-6. Despite the setback, she regained her momentum in the third set and claimed a 6-4 victory to take the match.

    Also of note in the match was Hung’s performance at No. 6 singles. Hung came out smoking and took the first set 6-0 before falling in three sets.

    LaPlante was disappointed with the loss, but not disheartened.

    “”They were ranked No. 6 nationally and most of their players were international players on a full ride,”” LaPlante said. “”They were very good. We wanted to see what the top of Division II looked like and we were right there with them. They are a very beatable team.””

    On Wednesday the Tritons hosted San Francisco State University. Although the final score was 7-2, the score does not do justice to the whipping the Tritons gave their guests.

    The competition in doubles was an absolute laugh fest. All three Triton teams were off the court in under half an hour and all three posted 8-0 shutouts.

    Singles wasn’t much better. Because of class conflicts, the Tritons were unable to field an entire team. They were forced to forfeit the bottom two singles spots, and this was the only way that San Francisco stood a chance of getting points.

    With injuries to Tadlock and O’Neil keeping them out, the team had to shift positions. Liao played No. 1 and had no problem filling in the shoes of the Triton superpowers. Liao had only two game points against her, and she saved those en route to a 6-0, 6-0 victory.

    Kristina Jansen played No. 2 for the Tritons and also posted an impressive 6-0, 6-0 double bagel on her opponent.

    Westerman had the dubious distinction of giving up the only game for the Tritons that day. Nevertheless, she was still off the court first with an easy 6-0, 6-1 win.

    Jaime Walker, a seldom-used reserve for the Tritons, took full advantage of the playing opportunity and smashed her opponent 6-0, 6-0.

    After an away match against Point Loma Nazarene next Wednesday, the meat of the Tritons’ schedule really begins. They have the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship Tournament the weekend after that, and the weekend of April 20-21 the Tritons go to the Ojai Tournament. This contest helps determine the individual champions in Division II and other divisions.

    From there the Tritons move on to regionals and nationals. Good luck to you tennis phenoms as you strive for that next level.

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