Photo by: Point Loma Athletics
Junior Marius Ruh rallied to win at No. 6 singles to cap off Friday's rivalry match.

UC San Diego Comes Up With Important In-Region Victory at Point Loma, 5-2

UC San Diego

SAN DIEGO - The University of California San Diego men's tennis team lost the doubles point but came back in singles to knock off city rival Point Loma Nazarene University, 5-2, Friday at the PLNU Tennis Courts.

UC San Diego improved to 2-4, while Point Loma dropped to 1-2. The match was originally scheduled for last Wednesday, Feb. 13, but postponed by rain.

The Tritons had lost the road meeting with the Sea Lions last year, 6-3, but have now taken six of their last seven against Point Loma. They will face off again in La Jolla on Tuesday, April 9.

UC San Diego was ranked No. 4 in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) West Region poll on Jan. 16, with Point Loma seventh. The Tritons are still in the middle of a critical stretch of seven straight contests against the other seven teams that appeared in the top eight of that ITA West Region listing.

Junior captain Marc Isaia and sophomore Neil Tengbumroong started things off with a 6-4 win at No. 2 doubles, but Point Loma's 22nd-ranked tandem (No. 3 in West Region) of Thomas Dafcik and Yuki Okamoto evened things up with a 6-4 decision at No. 1 over redshirt freshman Zach Ermert (Carlsbad/La Costa Canyon HS) and junior Sreeganesh Manoharan (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS).

The doubles point thus came down to the No. 3 court, where Mark Penner and Mark Vasat edged Triton freshman Sahm Irvine and junior Marius Ruh, 7-6 (7-5).

The Tritons turned things right around and grabbed a 3-1 lead midway through singles as Tengbumroong (6-3, 6-2), Ermert (6-1, 6-4) and Manoharan (6-3, 6-1) earned straight-set decisions within quick succession at Nos. 3-5.

Dafcik, ranked No. 26 nationally and No. 3 in the West Region in singles, defeated Isaia, No. 15 in the West, at the top spot, 6-4, 6-1, to keep the Sea Lions in it.

Irvine ended the suspense, however, coming up on the right side of a three-set affair, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, over Okamoto. Ruh's rally from a first-set defeat to take the point at No. 6 was bonus, as his scores went 6-7 (2-7), 6-0, 6-3.

"Doubles started with us splitting at No. 1 and No. 2, and came down to a tiebreaker (at No. 3), putting us down 1-0," said UC San Diego head coach Timmer Willing. "The guys prepared very well in the break, and started well in singles. Neil (Tengbumroong) and Sree (Manoharan) came off quickly to get us the lead, with Zach (Ermert) quick to follow. (Marc) Isaia was key, keeping his opponent at No. 1 on the court in a battle before eventually losing, but that was a pivotal moment for us to secure the victory as a team."

UC San Diego returns to home action this Sunday, Feb. 24, hosting Sonoma State at 10 a.m. Parking and admission at Northview Tennis Courts on North Campus in La Jolla are free. Sonoma State is rated fifth in the West Region.

UC San Diego 5, Point Loma 2
Feb 22, 2019 at San Diego, CA (PLNU Tennis Courts)

Doubles competition
1. #22 Thomas Dafcik/Yuki Okamoto (PLNU) def. Zach Ermert/Sreeganesh Manoharan (UCSD) 6-4
2. Marc Isaia/Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) def. Tim Soderman/Scott Wheeler (PLNU) 6-4
3. Mark Penner/Mark Vasat (PLNU) def. Sahm Irvine/Marius Ruh (UCSD) 7-6 (7-5)

Singles competition
1. #26 Thomas Dafcik (PLNU) def. Marc Isaia (UCSD) 6-4, 6-1
2. Sahm Irvine (UCSD) def. Yuki Okamoto (PLNU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
3. Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) def. Tim Soderman (PLNU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Zach Ermert (UCSD) def. Scott Wheeler (PLNU) 6-1, 6-4
5. Sreeganesh Manoharan (UCSD) def. Mark Vasat (PLNU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Marius Ruh (UCSD) def. Jasdeep Paintal (PLNU) 6-7 (2-7), 6-0, 6-3

Match Notes
UC San Diego 2-4; Regional ranking #4
Point Loma 1-2; Regional ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (3,4,5,1,2,6)
T-3:07 A-30

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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