Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Sophomore Neil Tengbumroong (left) and freshman Peter Stratton during the Feb. 25 victory over Concordia Irvine.

Tritons Compete at Pacific Coast Doubles Championship

UC San Diego

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LA JOLLA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's tennis program had five pairs and all 10 student-athletes entered in competition at the 2019 Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship last week. The 130th edition of the annual event was again held nearby at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

Friday was the only day of action for all 10 UC San Diego tandems.

Redshirt freshman Zach Ermert (Carlsbad/La Costa Canyon HS) and fourth-year senior Richard Han were the most successful of the Triton pairs, as they won two matches before being eliminated. Fourth-year senior Riku Hashiyada and freshman Peter Stratton (San Diego/Del Norte HS) were victorious in their opener and exited.

Juniors Marc Isaia and Sreeganesh Manoharan (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS), senior David Higgins and junior Marius Ruh, and freshman Sahm Irvine and sophomore Neil Tengbumroong, made up the remaining UC San Diego teams. All three duos lost their opener, and then dropped their consolation matches as well.

Ermert and Han knocked off freshmen Noah Dufort and Armin Rostami of the University of San Diego, 8-6, and then Christopher Papa and Ivan Smith, a No. 8 seed, by that same score. They finally fell to San Diego State juniors Arnaud Restifo and Fabian Roensdorf, 8-3.

"It was a good tournament for (Zach and Richard), beating USD and a seeded team before losing to a good SDSU pair," said seventh-year UC San Diego head coach Timmer Willing. "The others had very difficult draws versus top teams or top seeds."

Hashiyada and Stratton defeated Pepperdine senior Scotland Garapedian and partner Sasha Kovacevic, 8-3, before getting upended by ninth-seeded UCLA tandem Ben Goldberg and Connor Rapp, 8-1.

Isaia and Manoharan were eliminated by the ninth-seeded duo of UC Davis graduate Adam Levie and current UC Davis head coach, Eric Steidlmayer. Steidlmayer, a 1996 UC San Diego graduate, was the Triton head coach for 14 years through 2011-12, before heading north to lead the Aggies. Willing, his assistant at the time, took over.

Irvine and Tengbumroong had a particularly difficult couple of matchups. They first lost to ninth-seeded freshmen Mor Bulis and Bradley Frye of USC, 8-0. That was followed by an 8-3 defeat to UCLA freshman Blaine Hovenier and his partner, former Bruin Clay Thompson. A No. 6 seed, Hovenier and Thompson went on to win the consolation final.

Higgins and Ruh were topped by sophomores Jack Katzman and Robert Liu of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 8-2, and then junior Dylan Flanagan and freshman Charlie Schuls of Villanova, 8-4. Isaia and Manoharan began with an 8-3 loss to sophomore Santiago Montufar and junior Wills Tutecky of Boston College.

UC San Diego improved to 4-6 in dual matches with a 5-2 victory over Ball State on Monday evening. The Tritons hope to continue a season-long nine-match homestand against a pair of nationally-ranked Division II foes this week, weather permitting. UC San Diego welcomes in No. 16 Hawai'i Pacific on Thursday, March 7, at 12 p.m., and No. 4 West Florida on Sunday, March 10, at 9 a.m. Admission both days is free at Northview Tennis Courts on North Campus in La Jolla. Parking is free on Sunday.

Friday, March 1
Men's Open Doubles - Round of 128
Zach Ermert/Richard Han (UCSD) def. Noah Dufort/Armin Rostami (USD) 8-6
Riku Hashiyada/Peter Stratton (UCSD) def. Scotland Garapedian (PEPP)/Sasha Kovacevic 8-3
Santiago Montufar/Wills Tutecky (BC) def. Marc Isaia/Sreeganesh Manoharan (UCSD) 8-3
Jack Katzman/Robert Liu (CMS) def. David Higgins/Marius Ruh (UCSD) 8-2

Men's Open Doubles - Round of 64
Zach Ermert/Richard Han (UCSD) def. (8) Christopher Papa/Ivan Smith 8-6
(9) Ben Goldberg/Connor Rapp (UCLA) def. Riku Hashiyada/Peter Stratton (UCSD) 8-1
(9) Mor Bulis/Bradley Frye (USC) def. Sahm Irvine/Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) 8-0

Men's Open Doubles - Round of 32
Arnaud Restifo/Fabian Roensdorf (SDSU) def. Zach Ermert/Richard Han (UCSD) 8-3

Men's Open Doubles - Consolation Round 3
(9) Adam Levie/Eric Steidlmayer def. Marc Isaia/Sreeganesh Manoharan (UCSD) 8-2
Dylan Flanagan/Charlie Schuls (NOVA) def. David Higgins/Marius Ruh (UCSD) 8-4
(6) Blaine Hovenier (UCLA)/Clay Thompson def. Sahm Irvine/Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) 8-3

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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For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (UCSDtritons). For more information on UC San Diego Men's Tennis, follow on Instagram (@ucsdmenstennis).

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