AZUSA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's tennis team put up a strong fight against No. 11-ranked Azusa Pacific in the NCAA Championship Round of 48 on Monday, but ultimately fell to the Cougars, 5-1, at Azusa Pacific's Munson and Bavougian Tennis Complex.
It's the second straight season UC San Diego's (9-9) season has ended against Azusa Pacific (26-2). Although it's been a season of ups and downs, Monday's performance epitomized how the Tritons always compete until the end.
UC San Diego's doubles team of seniors Eric Tseng and Justin Zhang set the tone early with a big victory over Christian Schmid and Tony Pejic, 8-6, in No. 2 doubles play. However, the Tritons' No. 1 duo of sophomores Sreeganesh Manoharan and Marc Isaia came up short against Oliver Frank and Jakob Schnaitter, 8-4, while the No. 3 team of freshmen Eskil Jarlskog and Neil Tengbumroong dropped its match to Ryan Nuno and Jesse Haas, 8-2.
Singles action resulted in several competitive matches, some of which went unfinished once the dual-match result was decided.
Tseng, ranked 45th in the nation, lost a straight-set battle with third-ranked Frank in No. 1 singles, 6-1, 6-1, while Isaia dropped his No. 3 singles contest to 54th-ranked Schnaitter by an identical score, 6-1, 6-1.
Jarlskog played well in the first set of his No. 4 singles match against Ronald Kang, but fell short, 7-5, 6-1, as Azusa Pacific clinched the dual-match victory.
With the match decided, Tengbumroong won a close first set at No. 5 singles against Nuno, 6-3, and was down 2-5 in the second when the contest was halted. Sophomore Marius Ruh lost a tiebreak in the first set of his No. 6 singles match against Pejic, stopping play with the score, 6-7 (3), 1-1.
Zhang fought hard before losing an entertaining first set against 32nd-ranked Schmid, finishing play at 3-6, 0-5.
#11 Azusa Pacific 5, UC San Diego 1
April 30, 2018 at Azusa, CA (Munson and Bavougian Tennis Complex)
1. #3 Oliver Frank (APU) def. #45 Eric Tseng (UCSD) 6-1, 6-1
2. #32 Christian Schmid (APU) vs. Justin Zhang (UCSD) 6-3, 5-0, unfinished
3. #54 Jakob Schnaitter (APU) def. Marc Isaia (UCSD) 6-1, 6-1
4. Ronald Kang (APU) def. Eskil Jarlskog (UCSD) 7-5, 6-1
5. Ryan Nuno (APU) vs. Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) 3-6, 5-2, unfinished
6. Tony Pejic (APU) vs. Marius Ruh (UCSD) 7-6 (7-3), 1-1, unfinished
1. Oliver Frank/Jakob Schnaitter (APU) def. Sreeganesh Manoharan/Marc Isaia (UCSD) 8-4
2. Justin Zhang/Eric Tseng (UCSD) def. Christian Schmid/Tony Pejic (APU) 8-6
3. Ryan Nuno/Jesse Haas (APU) def. Eskil Jarlskog/Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) 8-2
UC San Diego 9-9; Regional ranking #3
Azusa Pacific 26-2; National ranking #11; Regional ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (3,1,4)
NCAA West Regional
Azusa Pacific Advances to the National Tournament
Referees: Andy Hamersock & Diane Kosakowski