LOS ANGELES -
In a season full of highlights, there was another bright spot for the undefeated UC San Diego men's tennis team on Monday, as the Tritons were presented with the annual Long Ellis Award by the United States Tennis Association of Southern California.
The award, which was given based on UCSD's participation, performance and sportsmanship at the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships in November, was presented to head coach Eric Steidlmayer and the team's seniors on Monday evening during the USTA's annual awards at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA.
The Tritons were presented with the Long Ellis "silver bowl" during the ceremony, joining a long list of storied programs to receive the award.
"It was a tremendous honor for our guys to receive this," Steidlmayer said. "Some really great teams have won the Long Ellis award over the years and we're thrilled to join that group. We try to do things the right way when we step on the courts and this award reaffirms that were doing that."
Ellis was a member of the Board of Directors at the Southern California Tennis Association and founded the SoCal Intercollegiate Championships back in the 1950s. A former player and avid fan, he was a huge champion for college tennis and started multiple tournaments to showcase the sport at the collegiate level.
Sportsmanship was among the many things that Ellis valued and the award is presented to a deserving team in his honor each year.
UCSD has jumped out to the program's best start at the Division II level in 2011, winning its first nine matches of the season. The Tritons, who are coming off a hard-fought 5-4 triumph over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Thursday, will host Western New Mexico at noon today at the Northview Tennis Courts.
Steidlmayer's group posted a 17-12 record at the SoCal Intercollegiate Championships in November, with junior Sam Ling advancing to the title match in the consolation bracket to lead the way.