Men’s tennis sweeps Western New Mexico

    If there was any question about the depth of the UCSD men’s tennis team, it was promptly answered in their 9-0 sweep of Western New Mexico on Feb. 20 at Northview Tennis Courts. The Tritons, ranked 10th in Division II, encountered a shorthanded Mustang team who brought only five players on their California road trip because of injuries. As a result, Western New Mexico forfeited one doubles match and one singles match.

    “[Western New Mexico] only had five guys, which was unfortunate for them,” UCSD men’s tennis head coach Eric Steidlmayer said. “But, for us, it was good because we had a lot of guys, who don’t normally get to play, play in competitive matches and get wins which is always good for their confidence. This match was also good because we get a Division II win, and you need to be over .500 in your Division II matches to be in the playoffs so that’s big.”

    At No. 1 doubles, seniors Jeff Wilson and Sameer Chopra easily defeated junior Steve Patton and freshman Mychael Ramirez with a score of 8-2. Senior Amir Nejad and junior Bryan Swatt also teamed up to cruise past sophomores Tarek Merchant and Andrew Sajbert with a score of 8-1.

    With a 3-0 advantage, Steidlmayer opted to rest his usual starters, bumping the rest of his team to play singles in the match. The Tritons took all singles matches in straight sets and gave up only 18 games in five matches.

    At No. 1 singles was Nejad, who easily defeated Patton, 6-2 and 6-2, while sophomore Erik Oijala beat Merchant, 6-1 and 6-4, at No. 2 singles. Freshman Seth Spector breezed past Sajbert at No. 3 singles with a score of 6-0 and 6-4. Perhaps the most convincing win of the day was at No. 4 singles in which senior Sean Higginbotham blanked Ramirez, 6-0 and 6-0. At No. 5, senior Nick Morton rolled past junior Dennis Munoz, 6-3 and 6-2.

    The Tritons were also scheduled to go on the road to play Division I foes Loyola Marymount on Feb. 21 and UC Riverside on Feb. 22. UCSD’s matches against LMU and UC Riverside were postponed due to rain. They will be rescheduled at a date that is yet to be determined.

    Triton men’s tennis has won three consecutive matches after dropping their first match of the season, giving them a record of 3-1 overall. UCSD will continue playing on the road as they travel across town to Division I San Diego State (1-1 on the season) on Feb. 24. The match play against the 43rd-ranked Aztecs begins at 1:30 p.m.

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