Club Sports

    SURFING

    Courtesy of UCSD Club Sports

    The five-time national champion UCSD surf team dominated 25 other teams from around the state, taking first place in the final event of the National Scholastic Surfing Association Southwest College season on Jan. 20.

    The victory was the first in over three years for the Tritons, and it solidified a second-place finish in the competitive Southwest Conference, while remaining the highest rated four-year university in the NSSA. The UCSD B-Team surfed strongly as well, placing fifth and beating the majority of the other schools’ A-Teams, including UCSD rivals UCSB, SDSU and USD.

    Beginning early on the morning of Jan. 20, over 150 surfers battled it out in the early rounds’ inconsistent 3-to 5-foot surf on the south side of the Huntington Pier. The UCSD surfers, who regularly surf and train in the bigger waves at Blacks Beach, showed poise and confidence in the difficult conditions. Focusing more on bigger, less consistent waves, Triton surfers were able to catch the higher-scoring waves outside. This strategy resulted in many victories through the first three rounds, and by the quarterfinals, six of the nine A-Team surfers and four of the nine B-Team members still remained. In the finals, UCSD was represented by six surfers, three from the A-Team and three from the B-Team.

    Standout performances go out to Ricky Kaplan, who took fourth place for the men’s team, Aaron Napier (fifth place men’s), Garth Engelhorn (seventh place men’s), Loryn Wilson (first place women’s), Marelle Yehuda (fourth place women’s), Britt Joyce (third place bodyboard) and Nick Statom (fourth place bodyboard).

    These placings by both UCSD teams showed the rest of the NSSA how deep and talented the Triton surf team is this year, and they served warning to first-place conference champions Mira Costa College that UCSD is a solid contender for the state and national title this year. The Tritons will go in as the No. 2 seed at the State Championships on March 15 and March 16 at Churches in San Clemente, Calif.

    BADMINTON

    The UCSD badminton team remain undefeated with a solid victory over SDSU on Jan. 25.

    The women’s team was a perfect 9-0 in its matches with strong performances by UCSD’s singles Dede Davis, Dara Walsh and Lillian Lai. Each woman won at least one set with a perfect score of 11-0 and held SDSU to only seven points.

    The men’s team got important victories from the Tritons’ top two singles, Chhay Taing and Julian Wu.

    With the overall victory, UCSD is now 3-0 and appears to be on its way to capture its third-consecutive league title.

    The UCSD badminton team is also holding its 2003 Sun God Badminton Tournament on the weekend of Feb. 15 and Feb. 16 at the Main Gym. The Tritons’ next match will be on March 8, when they take on UCSB and UCLA at UCLA.

    MEN’S RUGBY

    UCSD rugby fell to 1-2 in league play following this week’s heart-breaking loss to cross-town rival SDSU by the score of 36-35.

    After last week’s lackluster performance against UCSB, the Tritons came out early against the Aztecs, determined to set the tempo for the match. A try from UCSD fullback Todd Gleed, converted by winger Kevin Hannigan, gave the Tritons the early 7-0 lead.

    Shortly after, in the 12th minute of the match, UCSD’s Nick Serrato dove across the Aztec line for the second try of the day. Hannigan added the conversion to put UCSD up 14-0.

    SDSU came storming back, however, with two quick converted tries in the 22nd and 26th minutes of the first half to tie the score. After controlling play for the first quarter of the game, UCSD found itself out of its pattern in the second quarter, when the Aztecs began to take control of the match. An SDSU penalty kick and late try ended the first half with the Aztecs ahead 22-14.

    UCSD came out determined not to repeat their performance of last week. Within the first minute of the second half, Gleed scored the first try of the half, and with the Hannigan conversion, UCSD was down 22-21. Only five minutes later, UCSD flyhalf Mike Meissner scored a converted try to put UCSD in the lead 28-22.

    After surrendering another SDSU try, UCSD flanker Josh Mello drove across for a UCSD try, which Hannigan converted to give the Tritons a 35-29 lead with 10 minutes left in the game. Pressure by SDSU resulted in another try with only a few minutes left in the match to take a 36-35 lead into the final minute. On the ensuing restart, UCSD regained possession, forcing SDSU into a penalty 35 meters out from its own goal, 15 meters from touch. As time expired, the Triton kick sailed wide, securing the victory for the visitors.

    “”Our team played with enormous character today,”” said UCSD head coach Eric Takeuchi. “”SDSU was a Final Four team in USA rugby last season, and I think we showed that we can compete with any team in this league. Our guys played with heart, and deserved to win today, and although we are disappointed with the loss, I think our young squad learned a bit about how the game should be played.””

    UCSD will host another cross-town rival on Feb. 1 when they close out their home schedule against USD at 1 p.m. on Warren Field.

    MEN’S ULTIMATE

    This past weekend, UCSD men’s ultimate traveled to Santa Barbara, Calif., to compete in the annual Santa Barbara Invitational. UCSD went 5-2 in the tournament, beating schools like UCLA and Fresno State on the way to the semifinals.

    Sophomore Adam Desjardins made big plays to secure a 11-9 quarterfinal victory over archrival UCSB on Jan. 26. Freshman Quinn Kennett also came up with strong performances for UCSD.

    The ultimate team is now preparing for the crucial President’s Day Tournament to be held at UCSD on the weekend of Feb. 15 and Feb. 16.

    WOMEN’S ULTIMATE

    The UCSD women’s ultimate A and B teams went to the Santa Barbara Invitational tournament this past weekend and competed against some of the most competitive teams on the West Coast.

    The B team was successful and played well against many teams, including a win over UC Berkeley B and a close loss to Stanford B. In addition, the A team played well with a 13-9 win over Berkeley in the semifinals to advance to the finals against Stanford. However, UCSD lost to Stanford 13-9.

    The play of returners Amy Ruff and Nellie O’neill-Dinning, as well as two of the team’s freshmen, Corina Marks and Kelly Jarvis, helped UCSD’s performance.

    The team is looking forward to the next competition on President’s Day weekend. The tournament, in which UCSD hopes to play Stanford again, will take place at UCSD.

    UPCOMING EVENTS

    Feb. 1

    Men’s Rugby vs. USD at Warren Field

    UCSD Cycling Race (ends Feb. 2)

    Men’s Ultimate President’s Day Qualifiers (ends Feb. 2)

    UCSD Sailing Competition at Mission Bay (ends Feb. 2)

    — Compiled by Anu Kumar

    Sports Editor

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