Men's tennis goes 3-0 in Bay Area swing

    This weekend the men’s tennis squad packed its bags for a Bay Area swing, traveling up I-5 to take on UC Santa Cruz, Sonoma State University and UC Davis.

    Guardian file photo

    UCSD wasted no time in dealing the Slugs a 7-2 loss Friday, UCSC’s first loss to the Tritons in 10 years.

    The Tritons showed their strength when they swept the doubles easily and only dropped two singles matches to Santa Cruz.

    Mike Meyer, still rusty from an ankle injury, struggled in his match against Brian Casey and lost 6-1, 6-3. Despite this early loss in the weekend, Meyer came up big in his next two matches.

    The men faced a less challenging match Saturday against Sonoma State University, which allowed coach Eric Steidlmayer to play more of his lineup. The Tritons showed their depth, winning 9-0.

    Dan Albrecht and Doug Hofmann debuted in the No. 2 doubles spot and dealt Sonoma State a rough 8-2 loss.

    Nick Morton and Sean Higginbotham, at No. 3, joined forces and narrowly beat the Sonoma State No. 2 duo, winning 9-8 on a tiebreaker.

    Hofmann and Sean Nagel found their way into the singles lineup and both were victorious in straight sets. Hofmann won, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 5. At No. 6, Nagel won 6-1, 6-4.

    Sunday’s match against UC Davis tested the Tritons’ ability.

    Both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams lost tough matches. Sameer Chopra and Bryan Swatt, representing UCSD at the No. 1 doubles spot, lost 9-8 in a nail-biting tiebreaker to Greg Lee and Yaro Vinogradsky. Everett Schroeter and Jeff Wilson fell at No. 2 to Davis’ Greg Ford and Paul Dilloway 8-5.

    The lone UCSD doubles point for the day came courtesy of Albrecht and Meyer in the No. 3 spot when they forcefully beat the Galang-Proietti duo 8-3.

    With their mood down a bit from the doubles losses, the Tritons knew they had to muster up all their fighting spirit to come back and win the match with their singles depth.

    Sameer Chopra, at No. 1, had a tough match against Greg Lee and lost in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3.

    With Chopra off the court and the team down 1-3 in the match score, the Tritons had to win four out of the five remaining singles matches.

    Meyer, still a bit sluggish from his ankle injury, came up huge at No. 2, sending the Aggies’ Yaro Vinogradsky to the bench with a straight-set 6-3, 6-3 loss that decreased UC Davis’ lead to 2-3.

    In the No. 3 spot, Swatt, after being down two breaks, came back and continued the Tritons’ success in singles matches with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Greg Ford to tie the overall score.

    At No. 6, Emil Novak recorded a 6-3, 6-2 win over Ross Barasch.

    With the two teams neck and neck, the No. 4 and No. 5 matches were the cliffhangers of the day. Jeff Wilson, at No. 4, dropped the first set 6-0 to Aggie Paul Dilloway and then came back to win the second set in a tight tiebreaker, 7-6. With his renewed confidence, Wilson pulled out the match and prevailed in the third set, 6-2.

    Blake Wilson-Hayden, at No. 5, also recorded a narrow victory for the Tritons. Returning to play this weekend after a back injury, he breezed through the first set 6-1. Richard Galang then brought the match to a tiebreaker in the second set, but Wilson-Hayden finished off the Aggies 7-6 in a tiebreaker.

    After nearly sweeping the singles matches, Steidlmayer was thrilled with his team’s performance, not to mention the win against a team for whom he was a former assistant coach.

    “”I thought that our squad did a good job of being mentally tough after squandering some opportunities in the doubles,”” he said. “”We were able to keep our mind on the task in front of us and go after the correct shots in crucial times. All year this squad has shown it will not fold, and today was a great example of that.””

    These three wins on the road put the Tritons at a 16-3 record as they near regionals.

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