Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
Junior Marc Isaia was one of four Tritons who competed in both singles and doubles at USC this week.

Four Tritons Wrap Up Fall Portion of Schedule at Southern California Intercollegiate Championships


LOS ANGELES - Four members of the University of California San Diego men's tennis team competed in the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships on Thursday and Friday. The 62nd edition of the annual event was hosted by the University of Southern California at its Marks Tennis Stadium.

Singles qualifying took place on Thursday, with the main draw beginning on Friday, which also saw qualifying in doubles. The tournament featured student-athletes from powerhouse Division I programs like 2018 national semifinalist UCLA, Stanford and host USC.

All four Tritons won their qualifying opener in singles. Junior Marc Isaia rallied to get past UC Irvine sophomore Antoine Barthe after dropping the first set, 5-7, 7-5, 10-4. Sophomore Neil Tengbumroong swept Concordia Irvine's Diego Fernandez del Valle, 6-3, 6-2. Redshirt freshman Zach Ermert (Carlsbad/La Costa Canyon HS) dispatched senior Thomas Kyle of Concordia, who was forced to retire due to injury after losing the first set, 6-3. True freshman Sahm Irvine had little trouble with Azusa Pacific sophomore Ryan Nuno, 6-4, 6-2.

Still Thursday, Irvine was the only one of that quartet, to survive the qualifying Round of 32 and advance into the main draw. As the No. 14 seed in qualifying, Irvine defeated fellow freshman Brocton Andrus of BYU after a tight opening set, 7-6, 6-1. Isaia fell in a close affair to Texas Tech senior Tommy Mylnikov, the top seed in qualifying, 7-6, 6-4. Artem Kapshuk, another Texas Tech senior who was seeded third in qualifying, took care of Ermert, 6-1, 6-0. UC Santa Barbara senior Anders Holm, the No. 11 seed in qualifying, swept Tengbumroong, 6-4, 6-2.

Irvine was eliminated by UCSB sophomore Victor Krustev, 6-2, 6-1, in the Round of 32 of the singles main draw on Friday. The Rancho Palos Verdes product withdrew from the consolation bracket.

"Our singles play is progressing, and I am pretty happy with the improvements we made the last two weeks," said seventh-year UC San Diego head coach Timmer Willing. "All four players made it through a tough first round, and played well against the seeds and at a high level in the next round. We just fell a little short. The team is applying what they are learning, and are on the right path."

In doubles qualifying on Friday, Ermert and Irvine fell to Barthe and UCI senior Sasha Krasnov, 8-5. Isaia and Tengbumroong were upended by the APU duo of Leyton Bohren and Ethan Smith, also by that same 8-5 score. Both Triton pairs were competing together for the first time this fall. Isaia and Tengbumroong teamed up once last spring, a 6-3 win at No. 3 at home against Villanova on March 1.

"We have many more improvements to make in doubles," added Willing. "We are struggling with the basics. We have spent much time on singles strategy, and now will need to address some of our shortcomings in doubles."

The Southern California Intercollegiate Championships signaled the conclusion of UC San Diego's 2018 fall competition schedule. The Tritons' 2019 dual-match slate is now available here. It will begin with a home exhibition against Division I Nevada in La Jolla on Friday, Jan. 18, at 9 a.m. A more formal unveling of the schedule for the new campaign, will follow in the coming weeks on, and UC San Diego social media channels.

Thursday, Oct. 25
Singles Qualifying - Round of 64
Marc Isaia (UCSD) def. Antoine Barthe (UCI) 5-7, 7-5, 10-4
Sahm Irvine (UCSD) def. Ryan Nuno (APU) 6-4, 6-2
Zach Ermert (UCSD) def. Thomas Kyle (CUI) 6-3, 1-0 retired injury
Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) def. Diego Fernandez del Valle (CUI) 6-3, 6-2

Singles Qualifying - Round of 32
Tommy Mylnikov (TTU) def. Marc Isaia (UCSD) 7-6, 6-4
Sahm Irvine (UCSD) def. Brocton Andrus (BYU) 7-6, 6-1
Artem Kapshuk (TTU) def. Zach Ermert (UCSD) 6-1, 6-0
Anders Holm (UCSB) def. Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) 6-4, 6-2

Friday, Oct. 26
Singles Main Draw - Round of 32
Victor Krustev (UCSB) def. Sahm Irvine (UCSD) 6-2, 6-1

Doubles Qualifying - Round of 32
Antoine Barthe/Sasha Krasnov (UCI) def. Zach Ermert/Sahm Irvine (UCSD) 8-5
Leyton Bohren/Ethan Smith (APU) def. Marc Isaia/Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) 8-5

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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