Tritons Show Strong at UCI Invite

    Playing off against Southern California opposition, the feature hosted UCSD along with UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, Loyola Marymount and Concordia College.

    The Invitational served as a warm-up for the doubles team of junior Austin West and sophomore Devon Sousa, who earned a spot at the National Small College Championships on Oct. 13-16 in Mobile, Alabama, after winning the ITA West Region Championship two weeks ago on Oct. 1-2.

    UCSD had a strong showing in the first day of the tournament. West and Sousa took the first match, beating the UC Santa Barbara duo of Recknagel and Scott in a tight 9-8 match.

    The UCSD doubles team of senior Sam Ling and junior Junya Yoshida also picked up a win against UC Santa Barbara’s Mathieu Forget and Mbonisi Ndimande, 8-6.
    “We’ve been working pretty hard on doubles over the last couple of years, and some of our juniors and seniors are really improving on that part of their game, and we’ve been making big strides in that,” Assistant Coach Timmer Willing said.

    In the singles component, UCSD took five out of their six matches against UC Riverside, with wins from Yoshida, West and Sousa, as well as Max Jiganti and Maxence Dutreix.

    In the second day of competition, the UCSD doubles teams were swept by UC Irvine, though the Tritons faired well in singles, beating players from Loyola and UC Riverside.

    “The Irvine Invitational was good,” Willing said. “It gave us a good measuring stick on the competition we will be facing and I think as a whole we found some areas of weakness, and we were also surprised by some areas of strength.”

    UCSD finished the third day by sweeping Concordia College in singles, while West and Sousa picked up another 9-8 win against Loyola Marymount’s Alex Wilton and Sebastian Bustamante.
    Sousa and West, who made an appearance at the competition last year with graduating senior Erik Elliott, will now head to Alabama to compete in the ITA National Small College Championships.

     “[West and Sousa] are playing well,” Willing said. “I think that a lot of the summer work that they do prepares them well, coming into the tournament to qualify. And right now, they seem very mentally and physically ready to show up at this tournament.”

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