LOS ANGELES - Back to full strength after a three-and-a-half week hiatus, the UC San Diego men's tennis team returned to competitive play and performed impressively in its first day of action at the 56th Annual SoCal Intercollegiate Championships on Wednesday.
Held at Los Angeles Tennis Center, the UCLA-hosted tournament presented an eclectic field of high-caliber talent, including region rival Azusa Pacific and Division-I West Coast Conference members such as BYU, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine.
"We started off the day pretty strong, and then we ran into some tough matchups next round against very high-level players," said head coach Timmer Willing. "Other than that, it was a pretty good start to the tournament after being off for a couple weeks from match play."
Max Jiganti picked up right where he left off in the opening qualifying round of Collegiate Singles, defeating Othar Kordsachia of LMU, 6-3, in straight sets. However, Jiganti later fell to Concordia's Christian Wickenhauser, 6-4, 6-3, ending his singles winning streak at four matches.
Trevor Dell also scored a straight-set victory in his opening-round match against UCLA's Ryoto Tachi with a score of 6-4, 6-1, prior to being sent to the Back Draw on account of a 6-3, 6-4 loss to San Diego's Jakob Karnopp.
Following a first-round bye, Guy Giubilato faced APU's Whitman Hough in the Round of 16. Giubilato shutout Hough, 6-0, in the first set and finished him in the second set, 6-2.
Taking on Travis Fillmore of BYU after a bye in the Round of 32, Kona Luu played in a three-set thriller in the second round of the event. Luu eked out a slim 7-6 win in the first set before dropping the second set decisively, 6-1, to force a third frame. In the deciding set, Luu returned to his first-set form and defeated the Cougar, 10-7, to advance to the Quarterfinals.
The Tritons additionally sustained three losses in the opening round, all in straight sets. Pepperdine's David Sofaer defeated Ganesh Alagappan, 6-1, 6-0, and Ziad Sultan of UC Santa Barbara beat Rajeev Herekar, 6-2, 6-1. In addition, Horea Porutiu fell to APU's Jan Meyer by scores of 6-2 and 6-3 in the first and second sets, respectively.
UCSD continues Thursday with Main Draw matches, in which Giubilato will take on top-seeded Andre Dome of Cal Poly and Camill Salomon will face Frederik Wilkens of APU. Both matches will commence at 10 a.m. In addition, Luu will contend with Michael Grant of USC at 11:30 a.m.
Alagappan and Poritiu will play Kordsachia and Fillmore, respectively, in the Back Draw. Each match begins at 10 a.m.
Elsewhere at 4:30 p.m., all four UCSD doubles teams will be competing in the Qualifying Round of 16. Salomon and Devon Sousa will face APU's Meyer and Gary Yam, Dell and Luu will try to take down Trojans Grant and Corey Smith, Jiganti and Poritiu will aim to appease APU's Hough and Ben Eger and the doubles team of Alagappan and Herekar will oppose Cal Poly's Marco Comuzzo and Dome.56th Annual SoCal Intercollegiate Championships
Nov. 7, 2012
Los Angeles Tennis Center
Collegiate Singles - Qualifying - Round of 32
Max Jiganti (UCSD) def. Othar Kordsachia (Loyola Marymount) 6-3, 6-3
Trevor Dell (UCSD) def. Ryoto Tachi (UCLA) 6-4, 6-1
David Sofaer (Pepperdine) def. Ganesh Alagappan (UCSD) 6-1, 6-0
Ziad Sultan (UC Santa Barbara) def. Rajeev Herekar (UCSD) 6-2, 6-1
Jan Meyer (Azusa Pacific) def. Horea Porutiu (UCSD) 6-2, 6-3
Guy Giubilato, Kona Luu (UCSD) - bye
Collegiate Singles - Qualifying - Round of 16
Guy Giubilato (UCSD) def. Whitman Hough (Azusa Pacific) 6-0, 6-2
Christian Wickenhauser (Concordia) def. Max Jiganti (UCSD) 6-4, 6-3
Jakob Karnopp (San Diego) def. Trevor Dell (UCSD) 6-3, 6-4
Kona Luu (UCSD) def. Travis Fillmore (BYU) 7-6, 1-6, 10-7