14 of 23 UC San Diego Women's Tennis Matches at Home in 2019
LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 2019 University of California San Diego women's tennis schedule is highlighted by 14 home dates among 23 total dual matches.
Among those 23 opponents are five from the Division I ranks, including a trio of future Big West Conference sides in Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly and UC Davis, 14 from Division II, and four Division III clubs in reigning national champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Redlands, perennial power Williams College of Williamstown, Mass., and Pomona-Pitzer to wrap up the regular season on the road.
A top storyline heading into the new year will be the official start to the milestone 40th season of head coach Liz LaPlante in charge of her Tritons.
The season begins with Division I opposition for three January dates. Nevada is in for the home opener on Friday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m.. That's followed by visits to Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 23, and then across town to San Diego State on Jan. 26.
UC San Diego will remain in the friendly confines of the Northview Tennis Courts on North Campus in La Jolla over the duration of the month of February. The season-long seven-match homestand gets going against Azusa Pacific on Friday, Feb. 8, at 12 p.m., and ends on Sunday, Feb. 24, versus another Division II foe in Sonoma State. That stretch includes tests against CMS on Feb. 10 and Point Loma on Feb. 14.
"We'll start in January with three Division I matches," said LaPlante. "Then we have one of our toughest Division II competitors in Azusa. Cal Poly is a future Big West opponent. Claremont just won the Division III national title and is a very tough school. We lost to them last year, so I'm hoping to have a better result this time. Point Loma will be another strong Division II match again."
March kicks off with a trip to Cal State LA, ahead of a home return for three critical showdowns pitting UC San Diego against a trio of teams among the final eight left standing in Division II a year ago. The Tritons host two-time defending national champion Barry University of Miami Shores, Fla., on Wednesday, March 6, at 3 p.m. Barry has compiled four of eight crowns and a national runner-up effort since 2011.
UC San Diego then entertains Academy of Art, which lost to Barry 5-2 in last year's quarters, on Thursday, March 7, at 3 p.m. Finally, it’s Hawai'i Pacific on Friday, March 8, also at 3 p.m., with HPU having reached the 2018 semifinals.
"We get into the area in March where we have three back-to-back matches against three of the top Division II schools in the country," added LaPlante. "That will be a tough week. They are all here to play each other also."
Williams is back in La Jolla on its Spring Break trip for a second successive season, on Monday, March 25, at 12 p.m. The Ephs had won eight of 10 Division III national championships since 2008, prior to CMS grabbing its first title as the host last May. They are record 10-time Division III champions in all, and have made 12 consecutive semifinal appearances. Indeed, they lost at CMS in last year's semis, 5-3. The Tritons were four-time Division III national champions themselves under LaPlante, from 1985-94, before moving up to Division II for the 2000-01 academic year.
A season-long five-match road portion leads off with three in the Bay Area, consisting of Division II Holy Names and Dominican, and Division I UC Davis. It will take UC San Diego into April for more local contests at Azusa Pacific and Point Loma.
Concordia Irvine is then the visitor on Wednesday, April 10, at 2 p.m., and Cal State LA on Senior Day on Saturday, April 13, at 12 p.m.
Pomona-Pitzer, a one-time Division III national champion way back in 1992, will be the host on its Claremont campus for the regular-season finale on Saturday, April 20.
"On into Spring Break, with Williams one of the top Division III schools again," concluded LaPlante. "After another future Big West opponent in UC Davis, we get back into playing Azusa and Point Loma. Concordia's a difficult match also. There are really no weak teams. The whole schedule, it's a lot of home matches, but a lot of tough schools."
The 2019 NCAA Division II Championship begins May 11-14, with four teams again qualifying for the West Regional. The round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final will all take place at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla., May 22-25.
Admission to all regular-season home contests is free, with parking only free for Saturday and Sunday activity. Permits are required on weekdays.
LaPlante's student-athletes voted fourth-year senior Madison Hale and third-year junior Becky Chou as co-captains for this season. Chou is expected to partner again with senior Ashley Chao (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS) at No. 1 doubles, with Chao and Chou likely to be competing at No. 1 and No. 2 in singles when matches begin on Jan. 18. Chou was in fact an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American in singles a season ago, finishing at No. 15 in the final ITA rankings.
Fourth-year seniors Alexandra Weil and Chloe Wight appeared at No. 10 and No. 13, respectively, in the initial Oracle/ITA West Region singles rankings on Nov. 14, and at No. 10 together on the doubles chart.
UC San Diego went 13-11 a season ago and made an NCAA Championship appearance, falling 5-1 at No. 2 Hawai'i Pacific in the opening round. The Tritons wound up with an ITA national ranking of No. 25.
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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