Two wins for men's tennis

    The UCSD men’s tennis team capped off its first week of dual meet competition with victories over College of the Desert and Cal Poly Pomona University last weekend.

    Colin Young-Wolff
    Guardian

    The Tritons, off to a 2-0 record, held onto a 5-4 home exhibition win over four-time defending community college state champions College of the Desert Friday at the North Campus Tennis Courts. The Tritons started off slowly, dropping two of three doubles matches. The lone win came when the Jeff Wilson and Dan Albrecht team, down 5-2 at one point, rallied to win six of the next seven games to take the match 8-6.

    However, things picked up during the singles matches, with UCSD taking four of six matches to decide the meet. Team captain Michael Meyer, Wilson, Blake Wilson-Hayden and Emil Novak all paced the Triton victory with wins.

    Hayden-Wilson played an impressive match, easily taking the first set 6-1. However, Desert’s Daniel Briseno rallied to take the second set 6-3, and the two played to a tie-breaker that Wilson-Hayden won 7-6 (6).

    On Saturday, the Tritons finished off a demanding week with a 6-3 victory over visiting Cal Poly Pomona. This time, the Tritons won two of three doubles matches when the Brian Swatt/Sameer Chopra and Michael Meyer/Everett Schroeter teams tallied wins. They were followed with a repeat of the previous day — singles wins by Meyer, Wilson, Wilson-Hayden and Novak.

    “”[It] was a good win over a good team,”” head coach Eric Steidlmayer said on the team’s Web site. “”We knew it was going to be tough and it certainly was. I think this match also highlighted a few things we can improve on … Our doubles play must get better, and our readiness to begin the matches must improve if we are to be a very good team.””

    The Swatt/Chopra team played the nail-biter of the day, since they were down four match points against Cal Poly’s Ryan Terry and Andy Roland before rallying to force a tie-breaker and win the match 9-8 (2).

    “”It was toward the end when we were down,”” Swatt said. “”I have a tendency to be more up-and-down in my emotions, but Sameer isn’t. I looked to him. Both those guys were really good players … It worked out for us, but Sameer really came through for us today.””

    Meyer had a long weekend, with both of his matches going to three sets. On Friday against Desert, he played Rye Kashawabara to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 victory. On Saturday, he played another grueling match that went the distance. This time, Cal Poly Pomona’s Ryan Terry fell, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1, in another lengthy battle — a common occurrence for the Tritons this season.

    “”We’ve won a lot of three-set matches,”” Swatt said. “”[For example], Mike was in better shape against a really good guy and came out on top. Our conditioning helps us win a lot of third-set matches, and I think that will pay off in the later matches of the season.””

    The team’s conditioning is not their most important asset, however, because Swatt said its the Tritons’ competitive nature is what has driven them so far this season.

    “”That we have a competitive attitude is our biggest thing,”” Swatt said. “”Nobody wants to lose; everybody’s fighting. Physically, we have a lot of talent, but it takes that unwillingness to lose — that fighting attitude has helped us in our matches so far.””

    Last season, the Tritons lost to the Roadrunners 6-3, and following two rainouts, the Tritons fell to Cal Poly Pomona 5-4 in their meeting last season. The Tritons also defeated Azusa Pacific University 6-3 earlier in the week after losing to them by the same score last season.

    “”We lost to all of those teams last year, so to come back, we feel the team is a lot deeper and we’re improved,”” Swatt said. “”We proved this week that we’re a much better team than we were last year … We still have a ways to improve, but we’re definitely on the right track.””

    The week had its share of success stories, but the team had a scare last weekend at the Cal Poly Individual Tournament when Swatt suffered from heat exhaustion during his draining third-round, three-set victory over College of the Desert’s Kunio Minata.

    Swatt said he started cramping during the second set but played through it, and as a result, the cramping worsened after the match. He went to a hospital, where several precautionary tests were conducted before his release.

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