UC San Diego Men's Tennis Ready for First of Three Fall Dates This Week With ITA Regionals
LA JOLLA, Calif. -The University of California San Diego men's tennis program will send a contingent of six student-athletes to Azusa later Wednesday for the 2018 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Regional Championships.
Seventh-year head coach Timmer Willing will meet with his team for the first time on Wedesday afternoon, and then depart with redshirt freshman Zach Ermert (Carlsbad/La Costa Canyon HS), senior Richard Han, juniors David Higgins, Marc Isaia and Sreeganesh Manoharan (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS), and sophomore Neil Tengbumroong. Junior Marius Ruh was a late scratch due to illness. All six Tritons will play singles, with Han and Higgins, Ermert and Isaia, and Manoharan and Tengbumroong pairing up for doubles. Isaia is seeded fourth in singles, and with Ermert, fourth in doubles as well.
The three-day annual fall tournament will run from Thursday, Sept. 27, through Saturday, Sept. 29. On Thursday, the Tritons will be at Biola University's Biola Tennis Center in La Mirada. Friday and Saturday action, for those advancing, should then be in Azusa, at the Munson and Bavougian Tennis Complex on the campus of Azusa Pacific University. Parking at Biola is best in Lot C. Parking at Azusa Pacific is available in lots H and I. Admission is free.
Following ITA Regionals, UC San Diego will compete in the Aztec Fall Invitational in town at San Diego State's Aztec Tennis Center, Friday through Sunday, Oct. 5-7. The fall portion of the schedule wraps up at the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships, Oct. 24-29, in Los Angeles. USC is the host that week at Marks Tennis Stadium.
"The ITA Regionals kick off our fall season," said Willing. "This tournament is traditionally very difficult for us, as we go straight into the tournament without having a single day of practice. The fall season in its entirety, with the challenging tournaments, help set our lineup for the spring championship season. My expectations are to determine our team's improvement from last season, and get an idea of where we need to focus our attention toward our goal of playing in the NCAA Championships. These fall tournaments give the coaching staff a true indication of where we stand currently, and what needs to be stressed to the team to attain our goals."
Willing's Tritons posted an even 9-9 record in dual matches last season, which ended with a 5-1 loss at No. 11 Azusa Pacific in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Championships. Earning a third straight NCAA postseason berth, UC San Diego was rated No. 4 in the final Oracle/ITA Division II West Region poll.
UC San Diego's 2019 dual-match schedule will be released at a later date.
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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