Photo by: UC San Diego Athletics
From left, Tavi Popaluca, Riku Hashiyada, David Higgins, Richard Han, Mason Fuller and Timmer Willing.

UC San Diego Completes Season Sweep of City Rival Point Loma on Senior Day

UC San Diego

LA JOLLA, Calif. - Playing in yet another must-win match, the University of California San Diego men's tennis team largely dominated Point Loma Nazarene University, 6-1, Tuesday on Senior Day at Northview Tennis Courts.

Now with its second three-match success streak of 2019, UC San Diego achieves win No. 10, moving to 10-9 and above the .500 mark for the first time this season. Point Loma falls to an even 7-7. The Tritons swept the season series between city rivals, having taken a 5-2 road decision back on Feb. 22.

UC San Diego was No. 4 in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) West Region poll back in January, with Point Loma at No. 7. Four teams from the West qualify for the 2019 NCAA Championship.

Fourth-year Tritons Richard Han (La Habra) and Riku Hashiyada (Tokyo, Japan), and third-year walk-on David Higgins (Palm Desert), were recognized following the final home contest of their UC San Diego careers.

Juniors Marc Isaia and Sreeganesh Manoharan (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) began the afternoon by topping Thomas Dafcik and Yuki Okamoto, 6-3, at No. 1 doubles. Han and redshirt freshman Zach Ermert (Carlsbad/La Costa Canyon HS) then got past Mark Penner and Mark Vasat, 6-2, at No. 3 to clinch the doubles point. Han, the senior, produced the overhead smash at the net for the decider. Junior Marius Ruh and sophomore Neil Tengbumroong were edged at No. 2, 7-5.

Tengbumroong made quick work of Tim Soderman at No. 3 to open singles, 6-2, 6-2. Han continued his stellar performance in his final home action, sweeping Jasdeep Paintal at No. 6, 6-2, 6-4. The clinch came from true freshman Sahm Irvine at No. 2, as he overwhelmed Okamoto, 6-1, 6-1.

The remainder of singles, like doubles, was played out. Point Loma earned its lone tally as Dafcik, ranked No. 28 nationally in singles in Division II, took two close sets against Isaia at No. 1, 6-4, 6-4. Manoharan outlasted Scott Wheeler at No. 4, 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 10-3, in a super tiebreak with the match result clinched. Ruh also went to a third-set super tiebreak at No. 5, ultimately dispatching Vasat, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 10-7.

For Ruh and Han, those singles victories were their fifth in a row. Tengbumroong's singles victory was his team-best 12th, now at 12-5, while Manoharan reached double digits with a 10-4 mark. Ermert and Han have taken three straight together.

UC San Diego wraps up the 2019 dual-match regular season with another tilt critical to its postseason hopes, this Friday, April 12, at No. 20 Azusa Pacific (19-2). The Cougars, rated second in the West, have ended the Tritons' season in each of the last two years in the opening round of the NCAA Championship. Action at the Munson and Bavougian Tennis Complex in Azusa is set to begin with doubles at 2:30 p.m.

UC San Diego 6, Point Loma 1
April 9, 2019 at La Jolla, CA (Northview Tennis Courts)

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

Singles competition
1. #28 Thomas Dafcik (PLNU) def. Marc Isaia (UCSD) 6-4, 6-4
2. Sahm Irvine (UCSD) def. Yuki Okamoto (PLNU) 6-1, 6-1
3. Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) def. Tim Soderman (PLNU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Sreeganesh Manoharan (UCSD) def. Scott Wheeler (PLNU) 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 10-3
5. Marius Ruh (UCSD) def. Mark Vasat (PLNU) 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 10-7
6. Richard Han (UCSD) def. Jasdeep Paintal (PLNU) 6-2, 6-4

Match NotesM
Point Loma 7-7; Regional ranking #7
UC San Diego 10-9; Regional ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,6,2,1,4,5)
T-2:50 A-100

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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