It was an all-SoCal semifinal at the Tennis On Campus Spring Invitational, but in the end it was the UC San Diego Tritons who took home the top prize.
Nine Southern California schools made the trip to Tucson’s Reffkin Tennis Center for the annual event. Collectively, they fielded 14 teams and nearly swept the tournament with wins in the finals of all but one bracket.
Earlier this year at the Section Championships, UC San Diego was edged out of the fifth and last spot to the National Championship in a contentious match that went to a Supertiebreaker against San Diego State. Still feeling the sting of the loss, the Tritons were hungry for a victory.
They blew through pool play competition, dropping only 14 games, and were given the top seed in the Gold Bracket. In bracket play, UCSD pulled out convincing wins in their first two matches, but faced fellow SoCal A-Team UC Irvine in the semifinals. USC-B and UCI-B battled it out in the second semi-final. USC came out victorious and anxiously waited for their match-up in the finals, which was decided by one singular game.
Just by being in the finals, both USC and UCSD were promised bids to the 2017 National Championships. Still, the Tritons did not let up and beat up on the Trojan B-Team without dropping a set. They secured the win with a 30-15 victory.
USC did find success, however, in the Copper Draw. The Trojan C-Squad beat out Washington University at St. Louis in the final 25-18.
The Bronze and “Fun” Brackets were also won by SoCal schools. With the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo A-Team headed to the National Championships, their B-Team took out Pepperdine in the finals of the Bronze 24-14. Cal State Fullerton-B partied their way to the finals of the Fun Bracket and beat out University of Texas at El Paso 29-15.
UCSD-B made sure there was a SoCal team in every final, but came up a little short in the Silver Bracket. They played the A-Team from University of Texas at San Antonio, but fell 15-28 in the finals.
As usual, Southern California schools, affectionately referred to as #TOCSOCAL, had an excellent showing at the 2016 Spring Invitational. While their skills on the court were represented in the handful of team trophies that were carted back home, they were also awarded with a number of other prestigious tournament honors.
For the third year in a row, UC Irvine captured the sought-after Sportsmanship Award. The Anteaters were also named 2016’s Best Dressed Team. #TOCSOCAL also placed in the mini tennis tournament with a doubles pairing from Pepperdine, as well as the annual dance-off thanks to a duo from Cal State Fullerton.