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Doubleheader on Tap for Ducks at Home
Release Date: 01/29/2014
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EUGENE – With opening match jitters out of the way, the Oregon women’s tennis team now has a tough pair of in-state foes this weekend in Portland and Portland State. Since 2004, the Ducks are 9-0 against Portland and 5-0 during that stretch against Portland State.

Oregon (2-0) opens its double-header weekend first with the Pilots from the University of Portland (1-0) at 10 a.m. on Sat., Feb. 1, at the Student Tennis Center. The Ducks then play host to Portland State (0-0) at 3 p.m. on Sun., Feb. 2.

Follow us on Twitter at @OregonWTennis for live updates throughout the match. Live stats for Portland can be found here and live stats for Portland State can be found here.

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the governing body for collegiate tennis, implemented some experimental rule changes that will take place during the dual season until mid-February. In doubles play, the scoring format will remain the same except the set will only be played until six with a tiebreaker at 6-6.  The scoring format also remains the same for singles action with the winner winning 2-of-3 sets, but instead of playing a full third set to determine the winner, it will be decided by a 10-point super tiebreaker. The other experimental rule change is that there will be no warm-up with one’s opponent prior to the start of the singles or doubles matches.

The Oregon Ducks kicked off their dual season on a high note, sweeping both South Carolina Upstate and Eastern Washington. Against USC Upstate, it was senior Lana Buttner and junior Sofia Hager who finished first, downing the Spartan’s duo of Zoske/Vande Berg 6-0. The Ducks also saw their freshman doubles pair, Kluiving/Åkesson, pick up a victory in the No. 2 singles slot.  In singles play, Nicole Long quickly took care of Taylor Cohen 6-1, 6-1 in the top singles position. Seniors Rabea Stueckemann and Buttner both notched victories in singles play in their final home-opener donning the Green and Yellow.

UO played a much better match against Eastern Washington, permitting the Eagles to win just six games in singles play from the two through six slots. Marlou Kluiving and Allie Hueffner both notched a win in their first collegiate dual match against EWU. Kluiving was the first to finish at the fourth singles position with a strong 6-0, 6-1 finish while Hueffner swept Malieva Hedberg 6-0, 6-0. A. Hueffner teamed up with sister Kadie Hueffner in doubles play at the third slot but left their matched unfinished – leading 5-3 – after Oregon had won the doubles point.

The Ducks open their second double-header at home with Portland first at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Student Tennis Center. Oregon will only be UP’s second match of the dual season. The Pilots were in Eugene last weekend playing in a neutral match against USC Upstate – a contest in which Portland won 6-1. UP finished the 2012-13 season 8-14 overall and 1-7 in the West Coast Conference with a 2-7 mark on the road.

Portland returns eight players from its 2013 roster, including All-WCC honoree Maja Mladenovic. The sophomore was 13-9 last season, all of which came during the dual season. The only other double-digit winner returning for the Pilots is Saroop Dhatt, who went 10-12 in dual play.

Oregon will wrap up its double-header with Portland State at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Ducks have won five-straight matches against the Vikings and look to add to that success. PSU was 12-12 in dual play last season with a 3-7 mark in the Big Sky Conference while going 5-7 on the road.

The Vikings recently swept the singles and doubles titles at the Corvallis Indoor Tennis Championships this past weekend. Junior Dané Vorster took home the singles crown and then teamed up with teammate Megan Govi to capture the doubles title over fellow teammates Preda/Todd 6-3 due to an injury withdrawal.

Govi, who led Portland State with a 17-6 mark last season, played predominantly at the No. 4 position posting a 10-2 record. Kelsey Frey (13-8) and Alexa Mcdonald (11-10) are the other two returners who recorded 10-plus wins for the Vikings in singles play. PSU’s only loss in the double-digit win category was Marti Pellicano who graduated at the end of last season.

For the first time since the 2010 season, Oregon will have five freshmen on the roster. Lina Åkesson, Allie Hueffner, Kadie Hueffner, Marlou Kluiving and Maja Salibasic look to compete with the six upperclassmen for one of the six spots in singles action.

Åkesson hails from Bunkeflostrand, Sweden, where she compiled a 23-19 mark in the ITF junior girl’s circuit and reached as high as No. 562 in rankings. Allie and Kadie Hueffner come to Oregon having won back-to-back OSAA State Championships their junior and senior year in doubles play. Allie also compiled a 21-18 record in singles play competing in multiple United States Tennis Association matches while Kadie had a 23-15 mark.

Kluiving, a native of Eext, Netherlands, joins the Ducks with experience in the ITF circuit as well as experience with the Dutch National Team. She was ranked No. 46 in singles play and No. 40 for doubles in the Netherlands. Salibasic rounds out the group of freshmen for Oregon, hailing from Lukavac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was once the top-ranked junior player in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 10, 12, 14 and 16 under categories in addition to her experience in ITF tournaments.

The Oregon women’s tennis team will have a nice mix of upper classmen and underclassmen representation this year with a trio of seniors and juniors and five freshmen. Lana Buttner, Lana Buttner and Rabea Stueckemann represent the senior class while Sofia Hager, Nicole Long and Jasmine Minor.

Head coach Paul Reber announced the signing of five-star athlete Alyssa Tobita of Mililani High School. The Mililani, Hawaii, native is a three-time Hawaii High School Athletic Association champion. Tobita also led the Trojans to their sixth-straight Oahu Interscholastic Association title last spring, her third since attending Mililani. She enters the 2014 season, her senior campaign, seeking her fourth-straight singles title.

In front of a crowd of over 200 friends, family, teammates and members of the UO community, the Oregon men’s tennis team hosted a court dedication ceremony in honor of Alex Rovello on Nov. 9, 2013, at the Student Tennis Center.  The program officially named the center court on the north side of the facility the Alex Rovello Court, a fitting tribute to the remarkable career and life of Rovello, who passed away in a diving accident.

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