After splitting Saturday’s double header at home, the message from head coach Mike Saunders to his players was clear: We need to work harder, and we need to get better.
UCI men’s tennis (1-3) fell to Grand Canyon 4-1 in the morning match but rebounded to sweep UC San Diego 4-0 in the afternoon game.
Neither match saw doubles play, as both were singles-first and clinch format.
Grand Canyon (5-2) took the momentum early with three straight singles victories to come within one point of the clincher. Junior Sebastian Heim played an uncharacteristic match at flight one, quickly dropping 6-1, 6-2 to GCU freshman Francois Musitelli. Freshman Bruce Man-Hon-Sing was defeated at number five, 6-0, 6-1 and sophomore Vatsal Bajpai lost a 6-4, 6-3 decision at number four.
Junior Luca Marquard got the ‘Eaters on the board at number two with a dominant 6-2, 6-0 win over GCU senior Adrian Legarreta, but Gregoire Balenci was able to knock off ‘Eater sophomore Anil Patel 6-1, 6-3 to give the Antelopes the 4-1 win.
Sophomore Luis Lopez was ahead in his match at number three but did not finish after GCU had clinched.
The ‘Eaters avenged their loss and were able to handle UC San Diego (0-1) in short order with a 4-0 sweep.
Marquard was responsible for the first point, as he recorded his second win of the day in a 6-2, 6-4 triumph at number two over senior Alexandre Miaule of UCSD. Man-Hon-Sing took care of business at number six with a 6-3, 6-2 victory and Bajpai got back on track with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 decision to put UCI up 3-0.
Sophomore Mason Hansen fought through Triton freshman Marc Isaia’s late charge at number five by a 6-3, 7-6 (2) score to put a stamp on the ‘Eater victory.
Both Heim and Lopez were leading in their matches at number one and number three respectively, but did not finish.
UCI will have a week to prepare for their next match at San Diego State on Feb. 11.