LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 12th-ranked University of California San Diego men's tennis team was eliminated from national title contention Monday following a 5-2 loss to No. 14 Azusa Pacific in an NCAA West Regional match-up at Northview Courts.
The Tritons end their season with an 11-11 overall record while the Cougars improve to 21-5.
APU took a 2-1 lead in the match after winning at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. The Cougars went up 3-1 with a victory at No. 1 singles, but UCSD got back within a point by winning at No. 4. However, Azusa was victorious at No. 6 and No. 2 to clinch it.
In the No. 1 singles spot, APU's Oliver Frank, the top-ranked player in the nation, took a 6-2, 6-2 win over 41st-ranked Eric Tseng. Frank remained unbeaten on the season, improving to 22-0.
At No. 2, 14th-ranked Christian Schmid beat out 44th-ranked Alexandre Miaule by a score of 7-6, 6-4.
Marc Isaia claimed UC San Diego's second and final point of the day at No. 4 against Marnix Pluim, winning by a 6-0, 6-4 count.
At No. 6, APU's Antonio Pejic downed Edvin Larsson, 6-2 and 6-4.
The No. 3 and No. 5 singles tilts remained unfinished.
In doubles play, the Tritons collected their first point of the match at No. 3 as Tseng and Justin Zhang were 8-4 winners over Pejic and Pluim.
The No. 1 doubles match went to Frank and Pascal Engel, who defeated Miaule and Sreeganesh Manoharan, 8-5. At No. 2, Schmid and Shepherd Newcomb were 8-6 winners over Isaia and Larsson.
It was the third meeting between the Tritons and Cougars this season. Entering Monday's match, the 2017 series was at 1-1, with each team winning on the road. UCSD and APU played in the 2016 West Regional as well. The Tritons won, 5-1, in Azusa.
With the victory, Azusa Pacific advances to the NCAA Championships Round of 16 in Altamonte Springs, Fla., and will face Bluefield State on May 9.
Since becoming an NCAA Division II program for the 2001 season, UC San Diego has qualified for the NCAA postseason 15 times, missing out just twice.
#14 Azusa Pacific 5, #12 UC San Diego 2
May 1, 2017 at La Jolla, CA (Northview Courts)
1. #1 Oliver Frank (APU) def. #41 Eric Tseng (UCSD) 6-2, 6-2
2. #14 Christian Schmid (APU) def. #44 Alexandre Miaule (UCSD) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
3. #49 Justin Zhang (UCSD) vs. Pascal Engel (APU) 6-2, 3-6, 3-4, unfinished
4. Marc Isaia (UCSD) def. Marnix Pluim (APU) 6-0, 6-4
5. Rodrigo Amaral (UCSD) vs. Shepherd Newcomb (APU) 4-6, 6-1, 3-1, unfinished
6. Antonio Pejic (APU) def. Edvin Larsson (UCSD) 6-2, 6-4
1. Pascal Engel/Oliver Frank (APU) def. Sreeganesh Manoharan/Alexandre Miaule (UCSD) 8-5
2. Shepherd Newcomb/Christian Schmid (APU) def. Marc Isaia/Edvin Larsson (UCSD) 8-6
3. Eric Tseng/Justin Zhang (UCSD) def. Antonio Pejic/Marnix Pluim (APU) 8-4
Azusa Pacific 21-5; National ranking #14; Regional ranking #3
UC San Diego 11-11; National ranking #12; Regional ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,4,6,2)
NCAA Championships West Regional (Round of 48)