No. 14 UCSD continues to cruise

    Ranked No. 14 nationally, UCSD women’s tennis played three home matches over the past five days and was heavily favored against each of the three teams it faced.

    The Tritons dominated Pittsburgh on March 5, winning 7-2. Then over the weekend, UCSD dropped just one point in wins over CSU Los Angeles (9-0) and San Francisco State (8-1).

    Against a non-conference, Division I opponent in Pittsburgh, the Tritons used the match as a measuring stick and didn’t put much pressure on themselves because the match wasn’t going to have an impact in the conference standings.

    “”This is a no-pressure match,”” said head coach Lis LaPlante before the game. “”They’re hard hitters, so that’s good.””

    Pittsburgh’s hard hitting showed in the No. 2 doubles matchup when UCSD’s team of Jasmin Dao and Tara Siddiqui fell 9-8. However, the Tritons’ No. 1 doubles team of Julie Westerman and Jenna Ishii won 8-5, and the No. 3 pair composed of Kristina Jansen and Allison Ishii won 8-3.

    Of the six singles matches against Pittsburgh, UCSD dropped just one. No. 5 Marissa Hilker lost to Pitt’s Hayley Hughes in a three-set match by the scores of 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Westerman, Dao, Siddiqui, Jansen and Leigh Roberts all beat their opponents in straight sets to give UCSD the victory.

    Two days later on March 7, the Tritons swept CSULA on the Northview Tennis Courts in conference action. UCSD easily took the three doubles matches and then took the six singles matches.

    The teams of Westerman and Jenna Ishii, Dao and Siddiqui, and Jansen and Allison Ishii all won in doubles play by the scores of 8-2, 8-4 and 8-3, respectively.

    In singles, the Tritons didn’t lose a single set, and the only serious challenges came in the No. 1 and No. 2 matchups. At the No. 1 position, Westerman won 6-4, 6-4, while No. 2 Dao beat CSULA’s Charis Godoy 6-3, 6-4. Jansen and Roberts both swept their opponents 6-0, 6-0, while Siddiqui won 6-1, 6-2 and Sarah Bahlert earned a point for the Tritons, winning 6-1, 6-1.

    Then on March 8, UCSD faced California Collegiate Athletic Association foe San Francisco State. The Tritons won 8-1, surrendering SFSU’s lone point in No. 2 doubles when Gators Elly Swetz and Melissa Magat pulled out a 9-7 victory over UCSD’s team of Dao and Siddiqui. However, the Tritons won the other two doubles points, and they didn’t lose another set in singles play.

    Although the teams that it beat were not expected to be able to compete with UCSD, the women’s tennis team was pleased with its recent performances.

    “”The team played really well,”” LaPlante said. “”We didn’t expect the competition to be too tough, but we were able to work on some things and get some practice.””

    With the wins, the Tritons extended their winning streak to seven matches, and UCSD’s record moved to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the CCAA. In the conference standings, the team is right on the heels of Cal Poly Pomona, which was still undefeated going into the weekend.

    The Tritons will continue their long streak of home matches on March 12 against Emory University at 2:30 p.m. on the Northview Tennis courts.

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