Photo by: UC San Diego Athletics
From left, Denny Fafek, Madi Hale, Lex Weil, Ashley Chao and head coach Liz LaPlante after Saturday's match.

No. 22 Tritons Rally Past Cal State LA on Senior Day, 4-2, for Eighth Consecutive Triumph

UC San Diego

LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 22 University of California San Diego women's tennis overturned an early deficit after doubles to defeat rival Cal State LA, 4-2, on Senior Day Saturday at Northview Tennis Courts.

With an eighth straight triumph, UC San Diego improves to 12-5. Cal State LA concluded its regular season at 6-10 ahead of next week's Pacific West Conference Championships in Surprise, Ariz. The teams' meeting in Los Angeles was canceled due to rain back on March 2. This is the Tritons' longest win streak since beginning the 2017 dual-match campaign with nine successive victories. They finish the 2019 home schedule at 7-5.

UC San Diego and Cal State LA were rated No. 4 and No. 8, respectively, in the Oracle/ITA West Region poll back in January. This late surge by the Tritons has positioned them nicely for a return trip to the NCAA Championship, with four teams qualifying from the West.

UC San Diego has now won six straight matchups with Cal State LA going back to a 6-3 home loss on April 12, 2015.

The Tritons suffered a bit of a setback at the start, surrendering the doubles point after senior Ashley Chao (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS) and junior Becky Chou had won 6-2 on the No. 1 court over Isabella Lopez and Amanda Schneider. Seniors Madison Hale and Alexandra Weil then fell to Berta Acero Garcia and Chelsey Ruiz at No. 2, however, snapping their season-high seven-match win streak. Luciana Di Laura and Mariko Sagara then edged redshirt junior Chloe Wight and freshman Shweta Kumar at No. 3, to procure the point.

In singles, Chao breezed past Schneider at No. 1, 6-2, 6-2, and Kumar was also a straight-set victor at No. 6, 6-2, 6-3, over Sagara, to give the Tritons the lead at 2-1.

Chou extended the advantage by getting past Lopez, 6-3, 7-5, at No. 3, for her team-best 13th singles success of the year, and seventh in a row.

Ruiz topped Wight at No. 5, 7-5, 6-3, but it was no matter, as moments later, Weil put the finishing touches on a three-set triumph over Di Laura at No. 2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. She produced a wicked serve on match point, that Di Laura was unable to return. After 2-1 in the final set, the players broke each other's serves all the way until 5-3, when Weil ultimately held her serve and closed out the Golden Eagles.

Valeria Corral's (San Diego/Mater Dei Catholic HS) match on the No. 4 court was then halted against Acero Garcia, with the junior leading, 6-4, 4-1. She is a winner of nine straight singles tilts, the longest current streak by any Triton.

The match marked the final home appearance of Chao, Hale and Weil, who have combined for 280 singles and doubles dual-match victories between them. All are fourth-year Tritons. They were recognized by LaPlante in front of families following the contest.

UC San Diego has a pair of non-divisional road contests in the week ahead, in the lead-up to the NCAA Championship announcement. The date for that was not known at press time. The Tritons will be across town at Division I San Diego State on Thursday, April 18, at 2 p.m., in a match that is still in the process of officially being added to the schedule. The regular season will end at Pomona-Pitzer two days later.

#22 UC San Diego 4, Cal State LA 2
April 13, 2019 at La Jolla, CA (Northview Tennis Courts)

Doubles competition
1. Ashley Chao/Becky Chou (UCSD) def. Isabella Lopez/Amanda Schneider (CSLA) 6-2
2. Berta Acero Garcia/Chelsey Ruiz (CSLA) def. Madison Hale/Alexandra Weil (UCSD) 6-3
3. Luciana Di Laura/Mariko Sagara (CSLA) def. Shweta Kumar/Chloe Wight (UCSD) 6-3

Singles competition
1. Ashley Chao (UCSD) def. Amanda Schneider (CSLA) 6-2, 6-2
2. Alexandra Weil (UCSD) def. Luciana Di Laura (CSLA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
3. Becky Chou (UCSD) def. Isabella Lopez (CSLA) 6-3, 7-5
4. Valeria Corral (UCSD) vs. Berta Acero Garcia (CSLA) 6-4, 4-1, unfinished
5. Chelsey Ruiz (CSLA) def. Chloe Wight (UCSD) 7-5, 6-3
6. Shweta Kumar (UCSD) def. Mariko Sagara (CSLA) 6-2, 6-3

Match Notes
Cal State LA 6-10; Regional ranking #8
UC San Diego 12-5; National ranking #22; Regional ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,6,3,5,2)
T-2:30 A-125

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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