Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Fourth-year seniors Alex Weil (left) and Madison Hale combined for their 50th career doubles win together.

No. 18 UC San Diego Blanks Redlands for Season's First Win

UC San Diego

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LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 18 University of California San Diego women's tennis team swept all three doubles and all six singles contests to ease past the University of Redlands, 7-0, Saturday at Northview Tennis Courts.

With its first victory of 2019, UC San Diego improved to 1-3. Redlands, ranked No. 26 nationally in the NCAA Division III and fifth in the Division III West Region poll, is 0-1 after finally contesting its season opener following a pair of exhibitions. The teams had last met on Feb. 4, 2017, an 8-1 home victory for the Tritons.

Fourth-year seniors and four-year partners Alexandra Weil and Madison Hale combined for a comfortable 6-1 victory at No. 2 doubles. That marked the 50th career doubles triumph for each Triton, all coming together.

"That's a very notable accomplishment," said UC San Diego head coach Liz LaPlante. "They are a great team. They are two players with completely different games, but they found a way to bring out each other's strengths and make it work."

Weil was back with her team after missing the previous two matches as she returned home to Denver, Colo., to accept her 2018 United States Tennis Association (USTA) Colorado Female Player of the Year Award exactly one week prior.

The Tritons' No. 1 pair of Ashley Chao (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS) and Becky Chou duplicated that score in clinching the doubles point, before Shweta Kumar and Chloe Wight likewise won for the second straight match at No. 3, 7-5.

UC San Diego dropped only one set in singles, that by Kumar at No. 6, but the true freshman rallied to defeat Jackie Lacy via super tiebreak, 4-6, 6-0, 10-8. It was her first collegiate singles win.

Ahead of her, Weil (6-2, 6-0) and then Chou (6-3, 6-0) swept at No. 2 and No. 3 to put the Tritons up 3-0. Junior Valeria Corral (6-1, 6-1) and Chao (6-2, 6-2) followed suit at No. 4 and No. 1, both with their first singles wins of 2019, with Corral's (San Diego/Mater Dei Catholic HS) result serving as the clincher at 4-0.

Wight won 6-1, 6-2, moving up from No. 6 to No. 5 for her second easy singles victory in a row after returning from injury.

"This was a much-needed win, and we are happy with the result," concluded LaPlante.

UC San Diego continues a season-long seven-match homestand this coming Wednesday, Feb. 20, hosting 21st-ranked Division II West Region and city rival Point Loma. This is a makeup date, as the teams were rained out last Thursday. The Tritons edged out the Sea Lions for the West's fourth and final berth into the 2018 NCAA Championship. Doubles action is set to begin at 2 p.m. Admission is free on North Campus in La Jolla.

#18 UC San Diego 7, #26 Redlands 0
Feb. 16, 2019 at La Jolla, CA (Northview Tennis Courts)

Doubles competition
1. Ashley Chao/Becky Chou (UCSD) def. Elizabeth Johnson/Halle Martinucci (RED) 6-1
2. Madison Hale/Alexandra Weil (UCSD) def. Mia Fitzgerald/Karen Kobayashi (RED) 6-1
3. Shweta Kumar/Chloe Wight (UCSD) def. Kate Dolan/Jackie Lacy (RED) 7-5

Singles competition
1. Ashley Chao (UCSD) def. Elizabeth Johnson (RED) 6-2, 6-2
2. Alexandra Weil (UCSD) def. Lexi Lehman (RED) 6-2, 6-0
3. Becky Chou (UCSD) def. Halle Martinucci (RED) 6-3, 6-0
4. Valeria Corral (UCSD) def. Karen Kobayashi (RED) 6-1, 6-1
5. Chloe Wight (UCSD) def. Mia Fitzgerald (RED) 6-1, 6-2
6. Shweta Kumar (UCSD) def. Jackie Lacy (RED) 4-6, 6-0, 10-8

Match Notes
Redlands 0-1; National ranking #26; Regional ranking #5
UC San Diego 1-3; National ranking #18; Regional ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,3,4,1,5,6)
Redlands ranked No. 26 nationally in NCAA Division III
Official: Hank Garrett T-2:25 A-50

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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For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (UCSDtritons). For more information on UC San Diego Women's Tennis, follow on Instagram (@ucsdwomenstennis).

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