Hello Duck Fans! Welcome to another year of Oregon Men’s Tennis, the sun is out, classes are starting and another slate of fall tournaments are underway for our team to get our competitive juices flowing and prepare for what we hope will be an exciting year for Oregon Men’s Tennis once the dual match season begins in January. Leading up into our first set of tournaments we had a great first couple weeks of practice culminating in our first trip away from campus for a little bit of sand dune training and our first Americans vs. Foreigners competition.
For those of you who do not know, college tennis probably has the largest influx of international players so many times you will see a team’s makeup include its fair share of foreign flavor, and our team is no exception. This year the Americans include myself, as well as Duncan “Houdini” McDonald-Korth, also known as college tennis’ version of Donkey Kong and our proud team captain. Also from the states is Colorado’s Doug Mayeda, my roommate who is having the best four weeks out of anyone since his Denver Broncos are now 5-0. “Brandon Stokely! Brandon Marshall! Kyle Orton! Broncos!!!!!!!” I wake up every other morning to get breakfast and hear that. Our final American is one of our new freshmen Mitch Stomach, straight out of San Diego, or San Diahhgo as Ron Burgundy liked to say.
As for our international flavor, we have my fellow seniors Marcos Verdasco from Spain and the fiery Alex “Waffle” Cornelissen from Belgium. Senior magic is coming! Then there is Marcos’ fellow Madrilenos, Pepe Izquierdo, Sho Higuchi from Japan, and our other incoming freshman Nicolas Bjerke from Norway.
Now back to our first competition of Americans vs. Foreigners on the sand dunes of Florence, Oregon. The game of choice was football; so needless to say, we needed to defend our turf. To be honest, the foreigners put up a decent fight, with Marcos playing quarterback for his side and using his monster size to launch balls downfield. We were caught a little bit off guard.
However, the world was set right when near the end of the game, when nearing our end zone, Marcos got a little overconfident and yelled mid-play in his baritone Spanish voice, “I am Tom Brady! This is for Gisele,” before promptly throwing the ball two-yards straight into the ground in front of him for what Duncan claimed was the first ever unintentional grounding in the game of football. Anyway, to be as humble as possible, the Americans came away with the victory and now hold all bragging rights. Hopefully a game of soccer will not be in store for us in the near future.
As for our first fall tournament, the seniors headed off to the ITA All-Americans in Tulsa, Okla. and the younger ones went off to play in the Fresno Bulldog Classic on the campus of Fresno State. Some highlights include a solid win from Marcos and Alex over a great team from Baylor, Duncan earned a huge victory over a top player from Cal and Doug and Mitch made the semifinals of their respective draws. All in all, it was a decent start for our guys and we are looking forward to continuing to work hard and master our craft as we prepare for ITA Regionals in Berkeley, Calif., beginning in two short weeks.
It has really been a great first month here in Eugene and we look forward to producing one of the most memorable Duck Tennis teams in recent history. Hope you all are doing great and keeping up with your favorite Duck teams and as always, GO DUCKS!