Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Head coach Timmer Willing and his Tritons flew to the Midwest on Monday for two dates.

Tritons Add Two-Match Spring Break Trip to Midwest Before Weekend Home Pair

UC San Diego

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Match 14
at Quincy (6-6)
Tuesday, March 26 • 9:30 a.m. PT (11:30 a.m. CT)
Quincy, IL

Match 15
at Truman State (0-7)
Wednesday, March 27 • 1 p.m. PT (3 p.m. CT)
Truman Tennis Courts • Kirksville, MO

Match 16
vs. No. 20 Hawai'i Hilo (6-2)
Saturday, March 30 • 12 p.m.
Northview Tennis Courts • La Jolla

Match 17
vs. Eastern Washington (3-8)
Sunday, March 31 • 10 a.m.
Northview Tennis Courts • La Jolla

Match 18
at Concordia Irvine (8-4)
Monday, April 1 • 1 p.m.

The University of California San Diego men's tennis team, fresh off winter quarter final exams, has a busy Spring Break ahead, with five matches over a seven-day span. The Tritons (5-8) traveled to the Midwest on Monday for a two-match trip that was just added to the schedule in recent days due to a couple of prior dates lost to weather. UC San Diego takes on Quincy (6-6) in Quincy, Ill., on Tuesday, March 26, and another Division II foe in Truman State (0-7) in Kirksville, Mo., on Wednesday, March 27. Seventh-year UC San Diego head coach Timmer Willing is a 1993 graduate of Truman State.

The Tritons then return to home action, hosting No. 20 Hawai'i Hilo (6-2) on Saturday, March 30, at 12 p.m., and Division I Eastern Washington (3-8) on Sunday, March 31, at 10 a.m. Parking and admission are free at Northview Tennis Courts on North Campus in La Jolla. This stretch concludes at Concordia Irvine (8-4) on Monday, April 1, at 1 p.m.

Admission into all regular-season contests at Northview Tennis Courts is free, but parking is only free on weekends. Parking permits on weekdays can be purchased at machines located in all lots. Parking options include the large oval separating Northview Tennis Courts and Triton Track & Field Stadium, the lot behind the Triton Soccer Stadium stands, or if both areas are full, the Hopkins Parking Structure behind RIMAC.

UC San Diego has already played Hawai'i Hilo and Concordia this year, losing 4-0 to the Vulcans in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i, on Feb. 17, before a key 4-3 home victory over the Eagles eight days later. UH Hilo was among the last 16 teams left standing in the 2018 NCAA Championship, and has won three straight now over the Tritons. UC San Diego has taken 10 consecutive meetings with Concordia since a 6-3 home defeat in its 2010 opener, with at least one matchup every year since. The Tritons have not faced Quincy, Truman State or Eastern Washington at least going back through the 2006 dual-match season, and probably ever before.

UC San Diego has eight returners and two true freshmen making up its 2018-19 roster. Richard Han, Riku Hashiyada and David Higgins form this year's senior class. They are joined by juniors Marc Isaia, Sreeganesh Manoharan (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) and Marius Ruh, sophomore Neil Tengbumroong and redshirt freshman Zach Ermert (Carlsbad/La Costa Canyon HS). The rookies are Sahm Irvine and Peter Stratton (San Diego/Del Norte HS). Isaia has moved up from being the primary No. 3 in singles in 2018, to the No. 1 position, following the graduations of Eric Tseng and Justin Zhang, who also made up the No. 2 doubles team. Tseng is now a volunteer assistant coach.

Irvine made his college debut in the opener at San Diego State (2/1), and has mostly been at No. 2 singles thus far to begin his college career. He moved up to the No. 1 position in a key 4-3 victory over Concordia (2/25), winning easily, 6-1, 6-1, and is an even 2-2 there. Tengbumroong has gone 7-4, with wins at No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4. Ermert, who also made his debut at SDSU, has likewise appeared at No. 3 and No. 4, with mostly Manoharan (6-3), Ruh (3-2) and Han at the back end. Ermert and Manoharan played at No. 1 in doubles for most of the early going, with Isaia and Tengbumroong at No. 2. Ermert, Han, Higgins, Irvine, Ruh, Stratton and Tengbumroong have appeared at No. 3 doubles.

Stratton earned his college debut against Concordia and teamed with Tengbumroong on a 7-5 success at No. 2 doubles, before falling at No. 6 singles. In that same match, Hashiyada drew his first appearance since his freshman year in 2016, and made the move pay off with a straight-set triumph at No. 5 singles.

UC San Diego is rated No. 4 in the season's first Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) West Region poll, released on Jan. 16. Upcoming opponents Hawai'i Hilo and Concordia Irvine are No. 1 and No. 6, respectively. The Tritons already played each of the other seven teams in the West's top eight, in succession, and went 3-4. They are now 3-5 against that group. UC San Diego is scheduled to ultimately face off with those seven sides for 12 matches in 2019. In the individual regional listing back on Nov. 14, junior Marc Isaia was No. 15 and freshman Sahm Irvine No. 20 in singles.

Timmer Willing is in his seventh season in charge of the UC San Diego men's tennis program. With a dual-match record of 79-68, he has guided the Tritons to three consecutive NCAA Division II Championship appearances, and five in all over his first six years.

UC San Diego captains for the 2018-19 are junior Marc Isaia (team), senior Riku Hashiyada (community service) and junior Marius Ruh (academic).

In continuing efforts to better standardize college tennis across all NCAA levels and shorten the length of matches, the Tritons face a couple of changes in 2019. Doubles now goes to six games and not eight, just like singles. You still have to win by two games, with a tiebreak (to seven, win by two points) coming into play at 6-6. The three doubles matches result in a single point, to whichever team wins two. An existing manuever is that there is no-ad (advantage) scoring in NCAA tennis, meaning the first point after a 40-40 deuce score, ends that game. Contests still begin with doubles, followed by a five-minute break, and then singles.

On Nov. 27, 2017, UC San Diego was officially invited to become a member of the NCAA Division I Big West Conference. The Tritons begin a four-year reclassification period starting in the fall of 2020, and will play a full Big West schedule that season. During the transition, UC San Diego will be eligible for the NCAA Championship in men's volleyball, men's and women's water polo, and men's and women's fencing. For the 2024-25 academic year, all sports will be eligible to compete in Big West and NCAA Division I championships. Men's volleyball became an associate member of the Big West for the 2018 season, and women's water polo will join the conference in the spring of 2020. Read the full press release here.

For the latest in Triton athletic gear, make sure to visit Run by UC San Diego Athletics' online partner Advanced-Online, the site provides an on-demand option for Triton athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours.

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Following a quick trip to Irvine on Monday, April 1, UC San Diego concludes the regular season with two more critical regional showdowns, at home against city rival Point Loma on Senior Day on Tuesday, April 9, at 3 p.m., and at No. 21 Azusa Pacific on Friday, April 12, at 2:30 p.m.

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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