The Dons participated in their second tournament of the season at the UC Davis Aggie Invitational from Friday, Oct. 3 to Sunday, Oct. 5. Among the competing schools were No. 16 UC Berkeley and Stanford. Many Dons had trouble advance in the tournament, but one team of doubles made it to the quarterfinals.
The doubles pair consisting of junior Jason Lee and freshman Nic Valko defeated Sonoma State’s Daniel Holz and Logan Liddel 8-5 to advance to the quarterfinal round. There, the duo lost 8-2 against a pair from Pacific, preventing them from reaching the semifinals.
For Valko, Lee, freshman Marco Barretto, and sophomore Christian Brockstedt, this invitational marked their season debuts in singles play. Doubles teams included Lee and Valko, as well as the pairing of senior Johan Samuelsson with freshman Alex Santiago.
In singles, Santiago took out Joaquin Marquez of Sacramento State in a three-set match, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, but was then beaten by Bernardo Oliveria of Pacific in the round of 16, and defeated again by Nikhil Jayashanka from nationally-ranked UC Berkeley in a voluntary singles consolation match.
Samuelsson, a veteran among USF’s younger competitors at the invitational, was defeated by Stanford’s David Wilczynski, but went on to edge out Niranja Ram of Sacramento State in consolation before losing 6-1, 6-3 to Miguel Diaz of Pacific.
The Dons’ duo of Samuelsson and Santiago was bested by Sacramento State’s Sean Kolar and Deric Wanland, but made their way to the Flight B consolation semifinals with an 8-4 win over Nevada’s Ryan Andrada and Billy Bumgardner. In the semifinals, Samuelsson and Santiago lost by default Fresno State’s Jakob Keppelmann and Alex Vakouftis when an injury occurred, forcing USF to withdraw from the match.
The Dons will now prepare for the Battle of the Bay Classic, which will be held at the Cal Club in San Francisco from Friday, Oct. 10 to Sunday, Oct 12. The tournament features some of the nation’s top players from schools such as No. 1 USC, No. 3 UCLA, and No. 14 Duke.