Club Sports

    WOMEN’S RUGBY

    Less than a week after the Triton’s successful 2-0 road trip to Arizona, they again faced Arizona State and the University of Arizona at home. UCSD women’s rugby played a doubleheader on Feb. 15, and by the end of the day, had clinched the league title and guaranteed its right to compete at the 2003 Division I Nationals.

    In the first game, a 35-0 rout of ASU, the Triton forward pack set the pace and intensity of the game. UCSD head coach Hoova Smith later commented on the importance of a good forward game; the forwards really determine who wins the game, but the backs determine by how much. Early on, it was apparent that the forwards had come to play an aggressive, hard-hitting game. The ASU pack could do little to compete with UCSD’s rucks, scrums and tenacious lineouts.

    Rookie forward Emily Ogata had an especially strong kicking game, helping the Tritons advance down the field with long penalty kicks. The backs, who dominated last week’s play, took advantage of key opportunities to widen the lead. Sophomore Tiki Hayes consistently broke through the defense, scoring four tries on the day. As a team, the forwards and backs combined in unyielding defense that afforded ASU no chance to score.

    Against the Wildcats, the Tritons showed no signs of fatigue and never let up. The back line was much stronger in the second game, evidenced by the final score of 53-0.

    UCSD will be hosting its bracket of the national championships for the first time in school history. This stands to give the Triton women the homefield advantage at the competition in mid-April. Last year, the Tritons were defeated only by No. 1-ranked Air Force.

    MEN’S RUGBY

    UCSD men’s rugby improved its league record to 2-3 with a 36-12 win over Long Beach State on Feb. 15.

    After a somewhat slow start to the match, UCSD’s Nick Serrato took the ball off the back of a scrum and drove through the Long Beach defense for the day’s first try. Winger Kevin Hannigan added the conversion to put UCSD ahead 7-0.

    At the 20-minute mark, UCSD struck twice in succession, with flyhalf Mike Meissner and fullback Todd Gleed both scoring to put UCSD comfortably ahead 17-0. After surrendering a forward try to the 49ers, UCSD captain Matt Jones dove across the line, and with the Hannigan conversion, ended the first half with UCSD in the lead 26-5.

    The second half was played mostly in the Long Beach end, with the Tritons unable to sustain their drives long enough to get any points. However, in the 55th minute, Jones dove over for his second try on the day to put UCSD ahead 31-5. After surrendering another 49er try, Triton winger Tom Fiore scored his first try of the season to end the day with UCSD up 36-12.

    “”It was good to get back to winning, and I think our guys were aware of that,”” said UCSD coach Eric Takeuchi. “”Next week will be a big challenge for us in Cal Poly [San Luis Obispo], but I think our guys will be ready.””

    UCSD travels to San Luis Obispo to take on the Mustangs on Feb. 22.

    BADMINTON

    The UCSD badminton team held its 15th Annual Sun God Badminton Tournament Feb. 15 through Feb. 16. With stiff competition from schools like UC Irvine, Stanford and UCLA, the Tritons prevailed and won for the second consecutive year and their 10th overall.

    On the women’s side, Caroline Chen took second in D women’s singles, Grace Cheung took first in C women’s doubles, Dede Davis took second in open women’s doubles, Riyouko Lim took second in open women’s singles, JoAnn Lin took second in C women’s doubles, Stephanie Obayashi took second in D mixed doubles and second in C women’s doubles, and Amanda Wong won first in D mixed doubles and first in D women’s doubles.

    In the men’s competition, Scott Bering took second in D men’s doubles, Phil Bratton took second in C men’s doubles, and Chhay Taing took first in C men’s singles and second in C men’s doubles.

    The strongest performance of the tournament came from UCSD’s own Dara Walsh, who took first in open mixed doubles, first in open women’s doubles and first in open women’s singles.

    Up next for the Tritons will be a match against UCLA and UC Santa Barbara at UCLA on March 8, followed by the Badminton National Championships to be held at UCSD from April 18 through April 20.

    SAILING

    The UCSD sailing team performed at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Yacht Racing-Association North 1&2 competition in Vallejo, Calif., hosted by the California Maritime Institute this past weekend.

    UCSD teammates Sean Anderson and Heather Martinelli rocked the A fleet, placing third at North 1 and first at North 2.

    On the other side of the bay, John Frank, Jordan Meyer, Tori Pinto and Jesse Smith participated in Stanford’s second annual Cardinal Clinic. Highlights of the clinic included team racing and a rules seminar held by an Intercollegiate Sailing Association judge.

    To end the weekend, the team picked up its new pride and joy, the “”twins,”” two brand new vanguard flying juniors, the staple boat of college sailing. These are the first new boats for the team in five years and have been much awaited.

    UCSD sailing now looks forward to its next competition, which will come this weekend at UC Irvine.

    WRESTLING

    Despite several mild performances and canceled tournaments at the start of the season, UCSD wrestling has finally emerged as a team to be reckoned with after its strong showing at the San Jose State Dual Meet Championships.

    In the first match against San Jose State, UCSD quickly gathered points when its wrestlers expertly dismantled its opponents. Brent Mori got a pin in the 133-pound weight class at the 5:30 mark, as did Quiche Roura in the 157-pound class at 3:27.

    UCSD wrestler Eric Smith also won with a technical pin, 16-0, and Kyle Klienschmidt wrestled to a major decision win of 14-5. At this point, UCSD and SJSU were tied 21-21, with only a few heavyweight competitions remaining.

    This was tough for UCSD, since many of its heavy wrestlers were out on injuries. However, if the Tritons succeeded in getting one pin, they could once again tie the competition.

    It was up to Dave Hall, who wrestles in the 197-pound weight class, to get this pin; after wrestling to just eight seconds shy of the time limit, Hall pinned his opponent for the win, tying SJSU overall. However, the judges determined SJSU was the winner of the tie, since it had fewer forfeits, although UCSD matched it equally in victories and pins.

    Coming off the disappointing loss, the Tritons performed in their second match against Utah to claim a third-place finish at the tournament. Solid performances against Utah included a quick pin by Mori after only 50 seconds, and a pin by Klienschmidt after 4:30.

    The wrestling team is still looking for more members, especially since its forfeits ultimately cost it the win.

    WOMEN’S ULTIMATE

    The UCSD ultimate Frisbee women’s division hosted 16 teams from all over the United States and Canada as part of the annual President’s Day tournament this past weekend.

    Competition highlights included UCSD pulling out a comeback win against University of British Columbia, with the Tritons making an 8-0 run to overcome a 7-3 deficit. The play on Feb. 16 was also highlighted by strong wins in UCSD’s first two games over Oregon and UC Santa Cruz, though a loss to UC Davis finished out the day.

    The quarterfinal game on Feb. 17 was against the Tritons’ regional rival, Colorado. After losing to it twice last season, UCSD was determined to win, and with the use of a great zone defense, pulled out a 9-8 victory. Unfortunately, after a long game against Colorado, UCSD was no match for Stanford in the semifinals, losing 14-5.

    The Tritons’ success was due in large part to the play of the rookies, notably Manisha Daryani, Alia Shoettgen and Laura Weiss.

    UCSD will next play at the Stanford Invitational in two weeks, when it will potentially get to rematch both UC Davis and Stanford.

    UPCOMING EVENTS

    Feb. 22

    Men’s Lacrosse at UCLA

    Men’s Rugby at Cal Poly SLO

    Sailing at UC Irvine (ends Feb. 23)

    Feb. 23

    Women’s Rugby vs. UC Santa Barbara at Warren Field

    — Compiled by Anu Kumar

    Sports Editor

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