UCSD @ Hawai’i Pacific — Honolulu, HI
On Saturday afternoon, the No. 4 regionally ranked UC San Diego women’s tennis team faced off against top-seeded Hawai’i Pacific University in the NCAA Division II West Regional Tournament. After splitting the results of two separate competitions prior to the postseason match, UCSD saw its 2017-18 campaign conclude in paradise with a score of 5–1. With the loss, the Tritons finished the season 13–11 and within the top 20 teams of the nation.
UCSD fell behind 2–1 after completion of the doubles competitions. Triton duo junior Ashley Chao and sophomore Becky Chou dropped the first outing 8–1 to HPU’s 15th-ranked Lena Lutzeier and Oceane Adam. Moments later, UCSD juniors Alexandra Weil and Madison Hale were defeated as well in a hard fought 9–8 tiebreaking battle. Regardless of the previous matches, junior Chloe Wight and senior Nousha Nowamooz refused to go down and provided the Tritons with their first team point of the day with another closely contested 9–8.
The top three of the six single competitions would consist of intense meetings stocked with six nationally ranked individuals. No. 22 Chao was challenged by the best player in the country, unfortunately losing in consecutive sets, 6–1 and 6–2. The matchup for No. 14 Chou was not any easier as HPU’s third-ranked Lara Meccico won in straight sets 6–2 and 6–0.
In the No. 3 spot of the singles matches, Weil battled until the last point of a 6–3 and 7–6 encounter when the Shark’s No. 34 Adam closed the door and sealed the deal for HPU. Three singles wins would do the job to yield a final 5–1 Shark victory. Given the outcome, the rest of the matches would score as unfinished and not count toward the players’ win or loss record.
HPU will continue its playoff run and look to improve a 19–2 overall record heading into the NCAA Championship bracket full of the last 16 teams alive.