SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Tremendous energy to begin the day gave the Saint Mary's men's tennis team a glimpse of what could have been, but San Diego weathered the storm and eventually pulled away for a 4-0 victory in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference Championships.
Saint Mary's finishes the season with a 10-15 overall record. The Gaels were victorious in their first round match on Wednesday, defeating Portland 4-1.
The day got off to a rousing start for the No. 6 seed Gaels, especially at No. 1 doubles. Jesse Kiuru and Joakim Norstrom jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Thibault Visy and Clarke Spinosa, putting the Gaels' duo in charge.
The other courts featured close matches, with Tuomas Manner and Samuel Bloore battling at No. 2 and Seif El Sherbini and Thomas Hunt competing well at No. 3.
That early energy began to wane though, and the No. 3 Toreros pounced. They pulled ahead at both 2 and 3, and 8-6 wins on both were enough to clinch the first point. Visy and Spinosa rallied as well, and led 7-5 when doubles was stopped.
When singles began, the Gaels started strong again. Kiuru won the first set against Visy 6-1 at No. 1. Manner led 4-1 at No. 3, and Hunt battled in a close first set at No. 6.
Again though, it was San Diego that rallied back. Victor Pugliese would defeat Bloore 6-2, 6-1 at No. 5 to make it 2-0 Toreros. Uros Petronijevic followed with a 6-4, 6-0 win over El Sherbini at No. 4.
The match ended at No. 2, where Spinosa was able to pull out a tiebreaker 7-2 to defeat Norstrom in the second set.
That the match was settled at Norstrom's expense masked how hard the Gaels captain worked to get back in the match, as he played much better in the second set to make the match close.