OJAI, Calif. - The No. 6 seeded University of Oregon men's tennis team was bounced from the first ever Pac-12 Team Championships in the first round by No. 7 seeded Utah, 4-0, at Libbey Park in Ojai, Calif. on Wednesday (Apr. 25).
The Ducks (17-7, 2-6 Pac-12) now await an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships.
The Pac-12 Championships, in conjunction with the 122nd annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, featured for the first time ever a men's team bracket with the winner receiving the conference's automatic qualifying bid the NCAA Championships. Oregon's loss to Utah comes just 10 calendar days after a 4-3 victory in Eugene, Ore. on Senior Day.
The Ducks fell behind early by dropping the doubles point for the first time in four matches. Utah's Slim Hamza and Devin Lane defeated the Ducks' Aaron Clissold and Daniel Sardu, 8-6, while the Utes' Alejandro Medinilla and Ace Matias took down Oregon's Alex Rovello and Jose Izquierdo in a similar 8-6 match. Oregon claimed one of the doubles matches as their marquee pairing of Jeff Mullen and Robin Cambier outlasted Utah's Benito Suriano and Dmytro Memedov, 8-5. Mullen and Cambier's victory is their 20th win this spring, and will look to increase their school record for wins in a season to 30 in the NCAA Individual Championship.
The singles matches went the way of the Utes as the Ducks fell in the first three pairings locking up the 4-0 victory for Utah. Leading the way for the Utes was Suriano who battled with Oregon's leading singles player Cambier before pulling off the upset, 7-6 (4), 6-4. The freshman Hamza came up big again in defeating Oregon's Mullen, 7-6 (3), 6-1 before Utah's other freshman Rafael Davidian clinched the win with his, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Sardu.
The three other singles matches on courts four, five and six were not completed as Utah had already clinched advancing into the second round where they will face No. 3 seeded Stanford on Thursday (Apr.26) at 2 p.m. Stopped short in their matches for Oregon were Clissold, Rovello and Izquierdo; each of which were trailing at the time the dual was clinched.
The Ducks will return home to Eugene and await their fate for an extended postseason. Follow the Ducks bid for the NCAA Championships at GoDucks.com.