Tritons host Wilson/ITA West Tennis Regionals

    Think it’s difficult to beat out the top doubles teams in your region? Try squeezing in a Law School Admissions Test in between matches, which is what senior Bryan Swatt endured en route to his doubles win with junior Brent Molden in the Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association West Regional Men’s Tennis Championships on Oct. 3.

    The duo defeated Thomas Morton and Andy Muesse of Sonoma State, 8-3, at Northview Tennis Courts. The win advances Molden and Swatt to the finals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Small College Championships in Fort Myers, Fla., held Oct. 14 to Oct. 17.

    The Small College Championships include the eight regional champions from NCAA Division II, III, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and community colleges.

    Last year, graduated seniors Sameer Chopra and Jeff Wilson also advanced to the doubles finals, taking second overall. UCSD men’s tennis head coach Eric Steidlmayer knows Swatt and Molden must work hard to win the championships.

    “In Florida, Bryan and Brent have a good chance to do well if they do two things,” Steidlmayer said. “The first is to serve well. That will be critical. Secondly, they will need to be a bit more consistent with their returns. If they do those two things, they may be able to improve upon Sameer and Jeff’s final result from last season.”

    Six Tritons comprised the 16 total players in the singles bracket while three pairs competed in doubles. Molden and freshman John Caldwell were seeded third and fourth in singles, respectively, and Swatt and Molden were seeded second.

    Sophomore Seth Spector and freshmen Eric Rubens, Blake Meister and Alex Whitmore also joined Molden and Caldwell in the singles bracket.

    Rubens and Molden advanced to the semifinals and lost to BYU-Hawaii’s Dillon Porter, 6-4, 6-2, and Dorian Porada, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, respectively. In the finals, Porada won over teammate Porter in three sets, 7-6, 3-6, 6-1.

    This tournament gave Steidlmayer the chance to see his freshmen in competition.

    “I like what I see,” Steidlmayer said. “Eric Rubens stepped up to make it to the semifinals in singles and Blake Meister went far in the consolation draw after losing a tough first-round match. That is definitely a good sign.”

    Spector and Meister both advanced to the semifinals of the consolation draw but play was halted due to time constraints.

    Steidlmayer was pleased to have home-court advantage and was grateful for the help from the UCSD athletic department.

    “I definitely think it was nice to play here,” Steidlmayer said. “Our administration in the athletic department — Wendy May, Laurie Turner and Dave Wahlstrom — all do a tremendous job and all really helped to make it a great tournament.”

    On the women’s side, UCSD senior Jasmin Dao, juniors Marissa Hilker and Leigh Roberts, sophomores Katie McKee, Ali Legakis and Marsha Malinow entered the singles draw.

    The three Triton doubles pairs were made up of Dao and McKee, Roberts and Hilker, and second-seed junior Tara Siddiqui and sophomore Kristin Bronowicki.

    Hilker and Malinow both advanced to the quarterfinals with Malinow falling to second-seed Jing Jing Liu of BYU-Hawaii in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.

    Hilker also lost her semifinal matchup, 6-0, 6-1, to first-seed Adrienne Hegedus, of BYU-Hawaii. The finals, much like the men’s, pitted two BYU-Hawaii players against each other. Liu took the women’s title over teammate Hegedus, 7-6, 6-3.

    Although McKee and Bronowicki were knocked off in the singles draw, they bounced back and advanced far in the consolation draw.

    McKee advanced to the quarterfinals and lost to Renee Paquillo of Cal Poly Pomona, 6-3, 6-4. UCSD got its revenge over Paquillo when Roberts defeated her in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, in the consolation finals.

    All three UCSD doubles pairs advanced to the second round. However, Hilker and Roberts lost to the eventual doubles champions, Liu and Hegedus, by a score of 8-2. Dao and McKee defeated Nicole Warm and Katie Murphy of Sonoma State, 8-4, before losing to Dehlia Feliz and Katrina Holmberg of Cal Poly Pomona, 8-4, in the quarterfinals.

    The last Triton doubles pair to advance further in the draw was Siddiqui and Bronowicki, but Feliz and Holmberg defeated this pair as well in the semifinals, 8-4.

    Liu and Hegedus, who already took first and second in singles, respectively, also took home a first-place finish in doubles over Feliz and Holmberg with a convincing 8-1 win.

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