Ducks Open Spring Season in Vegas
The University of Oregon kicks off its 2013 slate this weekend (Jan. 18-20) in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Freeman Memorial, hosted by UNLV. The individuals participating this weekend will represent seven of the nation’s top programs, including No. 1 Florida, No. 2 UCLA, defending Pac-12 champions USC and Stanford, ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, No. 8 North Carolina, No. 50 UNLV and the 66th-ranked Ducks. Action at the Fertitta Tennis Complex will begin at 10 a.m. (PT) on all three days this weekend. Admission to all matches is free; the event features two flights each of both singles and doubles along with consolation rounds.
The impressive field boasts eight of the top 30 individuals and two of the sport’s top-eight ranked doubles teams scheduled to compete. The singles draw is set to feature second-ranked Krista Hardebeck of Stanford as well as four other top-20 players: No. 11 Gina Suarez-Malaguti of North Carolina, No. 14 Danielle Lao of USC, No. 17 Sabrina Santamaria of USC and No. 20 Alexandra Josifoska of host UNLV. Doubles will be led by USC’s top-ranked tandem of Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian and No. 8 Ashley Dai and Whitney Kay of North Carolina.
Last Year at the Freeman Memorial
Last year’s event saw 19th-ranked freshman Zoe Scandalis of USC rally to upset top-ranked Mallory Burdette of Stanford 6-7 (8), 7-6 (5), 6-3. In doubles, the 23rd-ranked duo of Pamela Montez and Courtney Dolehide UCLA downed third-ranked Christian and Santamaria of USC 8-4.
John & Phil’s Championship Cancelled
Oregon was originally schedule to participate in the John & Phil’s Championship in Corvallis, Ore., this weekend as well but the event has been cancelled. The Freeman Memorial will be the last invitational of the 2012-13 season before dual matches begin on Jan. 25. The Ducks begin dual play at home against Eastern Washington (Jan. 25) and Idaho (Jan. 26).
Oregon Roster Breakdown
The Ducks return seven players from last year’s team that went 12-9. The program’s 12 victories a season ago were the most since Oregon went 12-12 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2007. Seniors Julia Metzger and Patricia Skowronski are back for their final season in Eugene. Metzger won 10 singles matches at the No. 1 slot a year ago and finished 18-17 overall. Skowronski won 11 singles matches at the No. 2 position and teamed with Sofia Hager, a sophomore in 2013, to go 19-11 in doubles matches. The 19 doubles wins a season ago rank in a tie for 10th all-time.
Anchoring head coach Paul Reber’s junior class are Rabea Stueckemann, Lana Buttner, Pascale Neubert and Lena Macomson. Stueckemann and Neubert combined for 15 singles wins last year, while Buttner won seven times as well. Macomson, a redshirt junior who began her collegiate career at Montana State University-Billings, won two singles matches during the 2012-13 season.
Oregon’s two sophomores include Hager, who won 11 singles matches during the 2012 spring dual season, and Nicole Long, who played at the University of Oklahoma in 2011-12. Long went 8-13 in singles and 8-12 in doubles as a member of the Sooners. The Ducks’ lone freshman is Brooke Hughes, a native of Austin, Texas, who graduated from ATA College Prep in the spring of 2012.