Tennis slams Division I UC Riverside, 5-2

    The UCSD men’s tennis team finished its regular season with a 5-2 victory over Division I UC Riverside on April 19 at the Student Recreation Center courts in Riverside, Calif. The Tritons end the regular season with an overall record of 17-9 and are set to head into the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Highlanders dropped to 1-18 on the season.

    “It feels good to end the season on a win streak,” senior Amir Nejad said. “Right now, everyone’s confidence is high.”

    UCSD maintained its steady play in doubles by sweeping the Highlanders, 3-0, to gain the doubles point for the day. At No. 1 doubles, junior Bryan Swatt and Nejad teamed up to beat Norman Tam and Brent Davis, 8-6. At No. 2, senior Nick Morton and sophomore Brent Molden defeated Riancarlo Cava and Jordan Leo, 8-6.

    Senior Sameer Chopra, who usually plays No. 1 doubles with Wilson, did not play and junior Emil Novak stepped in Chopra’s shoes to play doubles with Wilson. The duo finished UCSD’s doubles sweep with a convincing 8-3 victory against Jeremy Owens and Caesar Regaliza.

    “It was really fun playing with Emil [Novak],” Wilson said. “We were a returning force and only let them hold serve twice and broke their serve the rest of the match.”

    In singles, UCSD took four out of the six matches to secure the team victory, its fourth win against a Division I team. At No. 2 singles, Wilson won 6-4, 7-5, in his match, handing Davis his second loss of the day. Novak got past Leo in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4, at No. 3 singles. Molden and Morton also snagged a victory in straight sets with scores of 6-2, 7-6 and 6-0, 6-0, respectively.

    Senior Sean Higginbotham, who is currently sidelined with an injury, played assistant coach for the day, watching Wilson’s singles match.

    “I got off to a bad start because I was a little bit weak from playing so many matches,” Wilson said. “But Sean [Higginbotham]’s soothing words and expert guidance helped me win. He told me what shots to go for.”

    UCSD’s two losses in singles were at No. 1, where Tam defeated Swatt, 6-4, 7-5, and at No. 5, where Regaliza defeated Nejad, 2-6, 7-5, 10-7.

    The Tritons have secured a playoff spot and are currently awaiting specific times and matchups for the NCAA Division II Regionals, which will be held May 7 through May 9.

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