Perfect Records; Unfortunate Exits

MEN’S TENNIS

UCI 1, Ole Miss 4

After finishing with an unblemished record in the Big West (5-0) and claiming their second straight conference title, the ’Eaters entered the NCAA tournament hoping to erase last year’s misfortune against Cal.

In the first round of the NCAA tournament, the Anteaters were matched up against the Ole Miss Rebels, but were unable to get past them, losing 4-1.

UCI suffered their first major blow when the doubles team of Chris Kearney and Stephen Stege, who were dominant all season long, lost to Mississippi’s doubles team of Chris and Marcel Thiemann. The Rebels would go on to capture the first point of the match after Mississippi’s doubles pair of Tucker Vorster and Jonas Lutjen toppled UCI’s pair of Sam Gould and Steven Henderson.

In the singles matches, the ’Eaters started slow, as both Kearney and Gould lost their matches. UCI showed signs of life as junior Fabian Matthews recorded a win over Ole Miss’ Lutjen, beating him 6-3, 6-3. But UCI’s other singles players were unable to use Matthews’ win as momentum, losing the next two singles matches.

The Anteaters finish the season with an overall record of 19-8 that, for a second straight year, ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Although the Anteaters’ season came to an end on May 13, Kearney’s will continue. The Big West player of the year will go to compete in the NCAA Individual Tournament, which starts from May 25-30 and will be held at Taube Tennis Center in Stanford.

WOMEN’S WATER POLO

UCI 9, USC 14

Just like the men’s tennis team, the women’s water polo team finished the season undefeated in conference play, capturing their third straight conference tournament championship and earning the fifth seed in the NCAA Championship for the first time in program history.

Dan Klatt, the 2011 Big West Coach of the Year, led his team to Ann Arbor, Michigan on May 13 to face off against Southern California rival, the USC Trojans.

Through the first three quarters, the Lady Anteaters battled tough, but in the final quarter the Trojans used seven goals to pull away for a 14-9 victory.

“I was proud of the way we played. We executed very well on both sides of the ball through the first three quarters,” Klatt said. “USC shot well and has a deeper team. Their energy level in the fourth was higher than ours and that was the major difference. The first three quarters were a big step forward for our program. USC is the reigning national champions and we played with them for 24 minutes. Now that we have this experience under our belt the next step is playing with them for 32 minutes.”

Jessy Cardy, the Big West player of the year, led the team with three goals, while freshman Olivia Cummins added another three. One of the major reasons for the Trojan’s victory was due to the fact that they were able to shut down the Anteaters’ catalyst. Danielle Warde, who was named Big West freshman of the year and finished second on the team with 52 goals, was held scoreless.

The Trojans ended the first quarter with a one-goal lead at 4-3, but the Lady Anteaters responded in the second quarter, scoring two goals to USC’s one. The Trojans and Anteaters entered halftime tied at five and both teams scored two goals to go into the final quarter, knotted up at seven. USC pulled away in the fourth, out-scoring UCI seven goals to two.

UCI 15, Iona 4

After dropping their opening match of the NCAA Tournament, the Lady Anteaters took their frustration out on the Iona Gaels. UCI scored early and often, overwhelming the Gaels 15-4.

Warde, who was held scoreless against the Trojans, led the charge with five goals. Cardey added two, while eight other players recorded a goal in the victory.

UCI 12, Indiana 8

The Lady Anteaters finished up their time in Michigan by beating the Hoosiers of Indiana University, 12-8. Warde once again starred, leading the team with three goals. With the win, UCI claims a fifth place finish in the NCAA tournament after dropping the opening gane against the USC Trojans.

The No. 7 Anteaters finish the season with an overall record of 23-9.