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Cliff Notes
   

Serving up victories

Tennis player

 
     

UCSD men’s tennis served up a treat for fans last season when it jumped from 24 to 13 in the NCAA Division II national ratings. They finished with an 18-5 regular season record and the top standing in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. The team, led by head coach Eric Steidlmayer, made it to the playoffs in May, but lost to No. 2 Hawaii Pacific University in the NCAA Regionals.

Steidlmayer has led the team into the playoffs every season since UCSD’s move from Division III to Division II in 2001. They were barely edged out of the national championships by Division I teams UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara, and lost by a narrow 4-3 margin in both matches.

The Tritons proved their superiority in their own conference with a perfect 7-0 CCAA record, overwhelming rivals Sonoma State, UC Davis and Cal Poly Pomona. UCSD also boasted the top spot in the California Invitational Tournament. It was the Tritons’ consistent play and big victories that resulted in that huge jump in the national rankings.

Three Tritons graduated in June 2003, including captain Michael Meyer. Despite the loss of key players, Steidlmayer and his team are optimistic about this season. At the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Western Regional Championship last October, junior Bryan Swatt won the singles event and seniors Sameer Chopra and Jeff Wilson captured the doubles. In the ITA National Championship later that month in Corpus Christi, Texas, Chopra and Wilson finished second while Swatt made the consolation finals.

Despite the loss of key players, Steidlmayer and his team are optimistic about this season.