UC San Diego Completes Season Sweep With Key 4-2 Victory at Concordia Irvine
IRVINE, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's tennis team went on the road to conclude an exhausting seven-day stretch on Monday, and managed to return home with a critical 4-2 victory over Concordia University Irvine.
With the result, for the first time since the 2019 dual-match campaign began, UC San Diego evened its overall record at 9-9. Concordia dropped to 8-7. The Tritons had also taken a narrow 4-3 decision in the home meeting back on Feb. 25, and thus swept the season series.
UC San Diego was No. 4 in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) West Region poll back in January, with Concordia at No. 6. Four teams from the West qualify for the 2019 NCAA Championship.
Junior Sreeganesh Manoharan's (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) singles victory at No. 5 served as the match clincher, just like it did the first time around in La Jolla, that day on the No. 4 court to break a 3-3 tie. After two close sets on Monday, the local product cruised in the third, winning 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, over Thomas Kyle, who was also his opponent in February.
The contest took over four hours to play, as Concordia only has four courts at its on-campus facility. So the Nos. 1-4 singles were completed, and with the result still in doubt at 3-2 in favor of UC San Diego, Manoharan and fellow junior Marius Ruh at No. 6 began their matches. At the end of a long week and long day, Ruh's went unfinished following Manoharan's clinch, though the Triton was leading, 7-5, 3-2.
The day began with the Tritons taking the doubles point. Ruh and sophomore Neil Tengbumroong downed Otto Heinz and Daniel Reddmann, 6-1, at No. 2, followed by redshirt freshman Zach Ermert (Carlsbad/La Costa Canyon HS) and senior Richard Han over Kyle and Yassine Smiej, 6-4, at No. 3. With the point clinched, Manoharan and fellow junior Marc Isaia were halted at No. 1 with a 5-4 lead.
Smiej defeated Isaia at No. 1 to begin singles, 6-3, 6-1, and even the match, but freshman Sahm Irvine swept Nikita Katsnelson for the second time this season to regain a 2-1 edge. Irvine was a 6-4, 6-2, victor at No. 2, having handled Katsnelson at the No. 1 position in February.
Ermert skunked Teis Visser in the initial set before suffering a tough setback at No. 4, 0-6, 6-4, 6-2. Once again, Tengbumroong broke the deadlock, completing his own rally from a set down, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, over Reddmann at No. 3. It marked his team-best 11th singles triumph.
Isaia and Irvine of UC San Diego are rated No. 15 and No. 20 in the Oracle/ITA West Region singles ranking, with Concordia's Smiej at No. 14 and Katsnelson at No. 16.
The Tritons wound up 4-1 during this busy stretch of five matches in seven days, which included a last-minute Spring Break trip to the Midwest in Illinois and Missouri.
UC San Diego still has two huge dates remaining on its regular-season schedule. The Tritons host city rival Point Loma next Tuesday, April 9. The action on Senior Day at Northview Tennis Courts on North Campus in La Jolla, begins at 3 p.m. Admission is free. The Tritons won at Point Loma, 5-2, on Feb. 22. The Sea Lions are seventh in the ITA's West Region listing.
UC San Diego 4, Concordia (CA) 2
April 1, 2019 at Irvine, CA
1. Nikita Katsnelson/Shimon Murakami (CUI) vs. Marc Isaia/Sreeganesh Manoharan (UCSD) 4-5, unfinished
2. Marius Ruh/Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) def. Otto Heinz/Daniel Reddmann (CUI) 6-1
3. Zach Ermert/Richard Han (UCSD) def. Thomas Kyle/Yassine Smiej (CUI) 6-4
1. Yassine Smiej (CUI) def. Marc Isaia (UCSD) 6-3, 6-1
2. Sahm Irvine (UCSD) def. Nikita Katsnelson (CUI) 6-4, 6-2
3. Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD) def. Daniel Reddmann (CUI) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. Teis Visser (CUI) def. Zach Ermert (UCSD) 0-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Sreeganesh Manoharan (UCSD) def. Thomas Kyle (CUI) 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1
6. Shimon Murakami (CUI) vs. Marius Ruh (UCSD) 5-7, 2-3, unfinished
UC San Diego 9-9; Regional ranking #4
Concordia (CA) 8-7; Regional ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,2,4,3,5)
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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