SURPRISE, Ariz. - The 14th-ranked UC San Diego men's tennis team ended its run at the NCAA Division II Championships Thursday with a 5-1 loss against No. 3 West Florida in a quarterfinal match at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex.
UCSD ended its season with a 13-11 record, while UWF improved to 27-1 with the victory. The Argonauts will take on Armstrong Atlantic in a semifinal Friday.
"West Florida is a good team, a strong team, they're steady," said Timmer Willing, in his first season as UCSD's head coach. "It was one of those days where you knew you just didn't have enough in the tank. We needed to get up early in doubles and we didn't, so it was too deep a hole to climb out of."
Junior Max Jiganti and sophomore Kona Luu recorded the Tritons' lone win of the match, defeating Tony Rajaobelina and Domenico Sano, 8-6, in the No. 2 doubles slot. Jiganti and Luu went 16-5 in doubles play over the season.
The Argonauts won the other two doubles match-ups to take a 2-1 lead into singles play. At No. 1, Camill Salomon and Devon Sousa were defeated, 8-3, by Kevin Ducros and Bruno Savi, the fourth-ranked doubles team in the country. At No. 3, Rajeev Herekar and Teddy Truong fell to Felipe Frattini and Elio Latella, 8-6.
"We started off pretty well in doubles," said Willing. "We were in all three matches, competing hard. We played smart at No. 2 and had opportunities at the three spot, but couldn't quite close it out."
West Florida went up 3-1 after Savi, ranked third nationally in singles, defeated Jiganti, 6-1 and 6-2 at No. 2. The loss snapped an eight-match win streak for the junior.
In the third singles spot, Herekar went down in straight sets, 6-0, 7-5, to No. 49 Rajaobelina, giving UWF a 4-1 advantage.
West Florida clinched the deciding fifth point when Latella earned a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Ganesh Alagappan at No. 4.
Singles matches involving Salomon at No. 1, Luu at No. 5 and Horea Porutiu at No. 6 were left unfinished.
UCSD defeated Southern Indiana, 5-3, in Wednesday's first round match to advance to the quarterfinals. The Tritons fell behind 3-0 after the Screaming Eagles swept the doubles tilts, but stormed back with five straight singles victories to clinch the win in the round of 16.
Barry and Concordia (N.Y.) will meet in Friday's second semifinal.
UC San Diego was making its 12th NCAA postseason appearance since the program moved to the Division II ranks in 2001.
"Overall, it was a very good season, I'm very happy with the guys," said Willing. "Falling a little bit short has left them hungry. We have some things that we can learn from and apply to what we need to do next year."
Salomon is the only senior on the 2013 squad.
#3 West Florida 5, #14 UC San Diego 1
May 09, 2013 at Surprise, AZ (Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex)
1. #8 Kevin Ducros (UWF) vs. #41 Camill Salomon (UCSD) 6-2, 6-6, unfinished
2. #3 Bruno Savi (UWF) def. Max Jiganti (UCSD) 6-1, 6-2
3. #49 Tony Rajaobelina (UWF) def. Rajeev Herekar (UCSD) 6-0, 7-5
4. Elio Latella (UWF) def. Ganesh Alagappan (UCSD) 6-1, 6-2
5. Felipe Frattini (UWF) vs. Kona Luu (UCSD) 6-2, 3-4, unfinished
6. Domenico Sano (UWF) vs. Horea Porutiu (UCSD) 6-4, 4-2, unfinished
1. #4 Kevin Ducros/Bruno Savi (UWF) def. Camill Salomon/Devon Sousa (UCSD) 8-3
2. Max Jiganti/Kona Luu (UCSD) def. Tony Rajaobelina/Domenico Sano (UWF) 8-6
3. Felipe Frattini/Elio Latella (UWF) def. Rajeev Herekar/Teddy Truong (UCSD) 8-6
UC San Diego 13-11; National ranking #14
West Florida 27-1; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,3,4)
2013 NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Quarterfinals
-- UCSDtritons.com --