UCSD has decent showing at SoCal Championships.
The UCSD men’s tennis team concluded its fall season this past Sunday, Nov. 2, at the 58th Annual Southern California Intercollegiate Championship at UCLA. Junior Horea Porutiu and senior Axel Bouillin both had impressive performances as the two advanced to the quarterfinals of the main draw consolation bracket.
Despite losing in the main bracket, both Porutiu and Bouillin were able to make the best of their early losses by excelling in the consolation bracket.
Starting in round 32 of the main bracket qualifying match, Porutiu defeated Concordia University Irvine’s freshman Hayden Hensley in straight sets with scores of 6–2 and 6–3. Porutiu faced a stronger opponent in the following game in Tokyo native and UCLA junior Ryoto Tachi. Despite winning the first set 6–4, Porutiu fell 6–1 and 6–2 in the following two sets, relegating him to the consolation bracket.
The consolation bracket brought on another tough opponent in UC Irvine freshman Caryl Hernandez, who pushed Porutiu to three sets. The final tie-breaking set had Porutiu take a 10–3 victory.
“This weekend at UCLA was full of high-level competition that our guys responded to very well,” UCSD head coach Timmer Willing told the UCSD Athletic Department. “I feel Horea is really playing at a high level right now and with some minor adjustments can make a large impact during the season.”
Bouillin dropped his first game in round 32 of the qualifying match. However, after dropping to the consolation bracket he was quick to recover, taking the next two wins in straight sets and reaching the semifinals. Unfortunately, rain and inclement weather forced officials to end the tournament prematurely.
In addition to his resiliency in single play, Porutiu fared just as well in double play. Porutiu and sophomore Alexandre Miaule were able to make it to the doubles’ main draw after two dominating victories.
The freshman duo of Justin Zhang and Eric Tseng continued to display the potential impact they make on the Triton squad. Despite losing their matches, the pair was able to force at least one of their single matches to three games against more experienced players, a promising sign for the coaches, players and the program.
“Justin and Eric are showing great potential competing against experienced opponents with some close matches,” Willing said. “I feel as they play more collegiate level matches they will be a force our opponents will have to prepare for.”
With the fall slate coming to a close, the Tritons will not be on the court again until Jan. 17, when they take on crosstown rival San Diego State in an exhibition match.
“Each tournament we seem to have a few players excel and improve,” Willing said. “As a whole, we need to makes some adjustments to each player’s game and I’m confident our team will be successful.”