Tennis Fall in Quarters

     

    The UCSD men’s tennis team ended its season last week with a loss in the round of eight at the NCAA regionals in Surprise, Ariz. 

    The Tritons, placed in the challenging South Region, defeated opponent Southern Indiana on May 8, 5–3. The Tritons started the match down 3–0, losing all three doubles matches, with very close scores of 9–8 and 9–7 at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots. However, UCSD was able to come back and win five straight singles matches, with junior Rajeev Herekar gaining the fifth point and effectively closing the match for the Tritons. 

    “I had a strong feeling that my match was the clincher, but I didn’t know for sure,” Herekar said. “Earlier in the season, I lost a clincher when I was two points away from winning, so I used that as motivation to win this one at nationals. It felt great after I won; I was super fired up, and my team ran onto the court.”

    Three of the six singles matches went to three sets; all of them won except for redshirt freshman Horea Porutiu, whose third set was left unfinished after Herekar clinched the match. 

    “I found out after that Horea was still playing and was cramping pretty badly, so luckily, me winning got him off the court,” Herekar said.

    The Tritons had little in the way of recovery for their next match on Thursday against No. 3 nationally ranked West Florida. UCSD lost a tough 5–1 match, with the No. 2 doubles pairing of junior Maxwell Jiganti and sophomore Kona Luu winning the lone point with a score of 8–6. 

    UCSD finishes its season with a 13–11 overall record, making its 12th program NCAA appearance since 2001. With only one graduating senior on the roster — Camill Salomon — the Tritons should look forward to another strong season in 2014.

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