SAN DIEGO - A field of eight schools descended upon Aztec Tennis Center on Friday for the 2012 San Diego State Fall Invitational, in which the UC San Diego men's tennis team sparred with some of the best NCAA Division I teams in the nation, including the reigning national champion.
The lone D-II team in the D-I dominated event, the Tritons competed against a crop of talent whose quality is undeniable. Five of last year's NCAA Tournament qualifiers were present, including Sacramento State, San Diego, Tulsa, UCLA and USC. Out of those five, all but Sac State advanced to the round of 32, and three teams (Tulsa, UCLA and USC) were ranked nationally at season's end. In addition, both UCLA and USC reached the Final Four before the latter defeated UCLA and Virginia by scores of 4-1 and 4-2, respectively, to claim its fourth-NCAA national championship.
Max Jiganti played SDSU's Freddy Gelbrich and upset the "A" flight's No. 2 seed in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Jiganti next faced JP Boyd of USD in the Round of 8 but was defeated, 6-1, 6-4.
Though Jiganti claimed UCSD's sole victory in the "A" flight, his teammates failed to go down quietly in their matches. Newcomer Camill Salomon fell to USC's Jonny Wang, the "A" flight's top seed, 6-4, 6-4. Guy Giubilato was also defeated by the same score when he played Juan Florez of SDSU while Andrew Malozsak suffered a loss to No. 3-seeded Max de Vroome of USC, 6-1, 6-2.
Elsewhere, in the "B" flight, Teddy Truong faced USC's Corey Smith and lost, 6-1, in both sets.Jiganti continued his winning ways when he paired up with Salomon to play San Diego's No. 2 doubles team of Andrew Raphaelson and Garrett Taylor. The Tritons defeated the Torero twosome, 8-5.
The Tritons No. 3 and No. 4 doubles teams opposed Sacramento State's No. 1 and No. 2 teams. Truong and Malozsak fell to the top Hornets' squad of Aliaksandr Malko and Marek Marksoo, 8-5, and Ganesh Alagappan and Giubilato were outscored by Tom Miller and Sean Kolar, 8-6.
In the Open flight, Porutiu lost narrowly in the first set, 7-6 (1), to Ciaran Fitzgerald of USD, before falling 6-1 in the second. Additionally, Luu was defeated by USD's Thibaut Visy by slim margins in both sets (7-6, 7-5).
"It was a pretty high level of competition for the most part, they're playing very strong players and our guys competed hard all the way through," said UCSD head coach Timmer Willing. "We were in there until the end, gave ourselves a chance to win and we pressed a little bit and maybe got a little over anxious trying to win instead of worrying about the process of the match. Other than that, I'm happy to be competing with these teams at this point in the season."
Playing against Jiganti and Salomon in doubles on Saturday will be SDSU's Andranik Khachatryan and Florez, who defeated Roy Brandys and Henrik Raag of Sac State, 8-4. Also on Saturday, Luu and Porutiu will face teammates, Alagappan and Giubilato, in the consolation bracket. The winner of that match will play the USD team of Boyd and Jakob Karnopp, which has a first-round bye. Truong and Malozsak will face the pairing of Tulsa's Matthew Kirby and USC's Smith.
Singles "A" flight consolation action kicks off on Saturday as well in the Round of 8 with Salomon taking on SDSU's Spencer Simon, Malozsak facing Mario Urquidi of Arizona and Giubilato competing against Raphaelson. In the "B" flight consolation, Truong is slated to face Karnopp.
Also on Saturday, Porutiu will play a yet-to-be-determined opponent in the Open consolation round.
2012 San Diego State Fall Invitational
Oct. 5, 2012
Aztec Tennis Center
"A" Flight Singles - Round of 16
Jonny Wang (USC) def. Camill Salomon (UCSD) 6-4, 6-4
Max de Vroome (USC) def. Andrew Malozsak (UCSD) 6-1, 6-2
Juan Florez (SDSU) def. Guy Giubilato (UCSD) 6-4, 6-4
Max Jiganti (UCSD) def. Freddy Gelbrich (SDSU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
"A" Flight Singles - Round of 8
JP Boyd (USD) def. Max Jiganti (UCSD) 6-1, 6-4
"B" Flight Singles - First Round
Corey Smith (USC) def. Teddy Truong (UCSD) 6-1, 6-1
Doubles - First Round
Max Jiganti/Camill Salomon (UCSD) def. Andrew Raphaelson/Garrett Taylor (USD) 8-5
Jonny Wang/Max de Vroome (USC) def. Kona Luu/Horea Porutiu (UCSD) 8-0
Aliaksandr Malko/Marek Marksoo (Sacramento State) def. Teddy Truong/Andrew Malozsak (UCSD) 8-5
Tom Miller/Sean Kolar (Sacramento State) def. Ganesh Alagappan/Guy Giubilato (UCSD) 8-6
-- UCSDtritons.com --