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Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Saving the best for last

It had been over two years since the UC Davis men’s tennis team last faced UC San Diego, but it hadn’t been long enough to forget the result.

The Aggies took their revenge on their non-conference opponent, defeating the Tritons 4-3, after losing by the same score in the two teams’ last meeting Apr. 21, 2006.

“We haven’t had success against San Diego for the last few seasons,” said senior No. 3 Justin Garcia. “This win was a great sendoff for our seniors.”

The victory concluded the home careers of Garcia, Daniel Elefant and Henri Landes.

The Aggies were the first to draw blood, jumping out to a 1-0 lead when sophomores Nic Amaroli and Kevin Liang clinched the doubles point.

The Tritons struck back quickly, jumping to a 3-1 lead as the Aggies fell at the No. 1, 2 and 6 singles spots, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.

Needing three straight wins to stay alive, Garcia fought off Kazumi Negishi, winning 7-6, 6-2, to bring the score to 3-2.

The score was then tied at 3-3 when freshman No. 5 Nick Lopez managed a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Brandon Low.

“Nick fought back in the third set down 2-4 and came out with the win,” said UC Davis head coach Daryl Lee. “He really stepped up his game.”

Lopez’s win left the Aggies’ hopes of victory resting on the shoulders of Elefant.

Minutes after Lopez finished, the No. 4 senior topped Alex Placek in a grueling three-set match by the score of 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, earning the Aggies their final home victory of the season.

Friday’s win moved the Aggies to 10-12 on the season and dropped the Tritons to 10-11.

UC Davis will be back in action Friday at the Big West Conference Championships in Palm Springs, Calif. The Aggies are seeded fifth in the six-team tournament.


NIRVAIR KELLEY can be reached at sports@californiaaggie.com.





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