No Contest: No. 22 Tritons Handle 20th-Ranked City Foe Point Loma, 7-0
LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 22 University of California San Diego women's tennis team took a tightly-contested doubles point before dominating singles and routed 20th-ranked city rival Point Loma Nazarene University, 7-0, at Northview Tennis Courts on Wednesday afternoon.
With a fourth straight victory following a season-opening three-match skid, UC San Diego is now above the .500 mark at 4-3. Point Loma fell to 4-2. The Tritons edged out the Sea Lions for the West Region's fourth and final berth into the 2018 NCAA Championship, having swept both meetings. The sides are fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) West Region poll. UC San Diego has now taken three consecutive showdowns.
Wednesday's match was originally scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14, but postponed by rain. The makeup date was set as last Wednesday, Feb. 20, but adverse weather again bumped the fixture for another week. The teams will meet again on the Point Loma campus on April 8.
In doubles, senior Ashley Chao and junior co-captain Becky Chou were early winners at No. 1, 6-3, over Gabi Armas and Ellie Gamble. It marked milestone career doubles win No. 50 for Chao, a fourth-year Triton and San Diego product out of Rancho Bernardo High School. The last 36 have all come in tandem with Chou. She is 50-22 all-time in dual matches. Chao and Chou have earned five victories in a row.
That left the doubles point down to the No. 2 court, where fourth-year seniors Madison Hale and Alexandra Weil were taking on Shelby Groeneveld and Michelle Torres. Up 5-4 and serving for the match, the Triton pair surrendered the first two points of the final frame to trail 0-30. That's when Weil unleashed an ace, and then Hale produced a close-distance smash to level matters. A wicked forehand by Weil caught the back left corner to get UC San Diego to match point.
The Point Loma pair grabbed the next one, which brought on deuce point. With no-ad (advantage) scoring nowadays in college tennis, that still left the Tritons on match point, and once again, Hale was up to the task, slamming another overhand winner in between Groeneveld and Torres to give UC San Diego the early 1-0 edge.
Singles, was not so close.
Kumar was first off, 6-1, 6-1, on the No. 6 court, and followed by Chao at No. 1, 6-1, 6-3, over Groeneveld. Chou trailed 4-3 in the second at No. 3 after sweeping the first, 6-0, but rallied to complete her straight-set victory, 6-4. That result was the clincher.
Weil (6-2, 6-4) and junior Valeria Corral (San Diego/Mater Dei Catholic HS) continued nonetheless and took their contests at No. 2 and No. 4, respectively. Corral's scores over Torres were 6-2, 6-2. Weil lost the first game to open her second set, but quickly turned that into a 2-1 advantage and took care of business.
Weil thus has beaten the West Region's ninth- (Sonoma State's Clarisa Colling on Sunday) and 11th-ranked players in back-to-back matches over a four-day span. Weil is rated No. 10. She had earlier this year on Feb. 8 knocked off No. 6 Kara Hinton of Azusa Pacific, ranked 41st nationally. All three have been in straight sets.
With Wight splitting her first two sets on the No. 5 court against Camaratta, 6-1, 2-6, and the match result clinched, those student-athletes went to a super tiebreak, to 10 points. Wight held off her opponent, 10-7.
Weil, Chou and Wight have each now won five singles tilts in succession, with Weil and Wight both perfect on the year at 5-0.
Having concluded this season-opening, season-long seven-match homestand, UC San Diego takes to the road for the first time in this 2019 dual-match campaign, to another West Region foe in Cal State LA this Saturday, March 2. Start time is 12 p.m.
#22 UC San Diego 7, #20 Point Loma 0
Feb. 27, 2019 at La Jolla, CA (Northview Tennis Courts)
1. Ashley Chao/Becky Chou (UCSD) def. Gabi Armas/Ellie Gamble (PLNU) 6-3
2. Madison Hale/Alexandra Weil (UCSD) def. Shelby Groeneveld/Michelle Torres (PLNU) 6-4
3. Nicole Camaratta/Taylor McGowan (PLNU) def. Shweta Kumar/Chloe Wight (UCSD) 6-2
1. Ashley Chao (UCSD) def. Shelby Groeneveld (PLNU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Alexandra Weil (UCSD) def. Gabi Armas (PLNU) 6-2, 6-4
3. Becky Chou (UCSD) def. Taylor McGowan (PLNU) 6-0, 6-4
4. Valeria Corral (UCSD) def. Michelle Torres (PLNU) 6-2, 6-2
5. Chloe Wight (UCSD) def. Nicole Camaratta (PLNU) 6-1, 2-6, 10-7
6. Shweta Kumar (UCSD) def. Madison McKay (PLNU) 6-1, 6-1
Point Loma 4-2; National ranking #20; Regional ranking #5
UC San Diego 4-3; National ranking #22; Regional ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,1,3,2,4,5)
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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