IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Oregon women’s tennis team couldn’t get past Iowa Friday afternoon at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center, dropping its first match of the dual season 5-2. Nicole Long needed the super tiebreaker once again to notch the victory at No. 1 singles to upset No. 56 Ruth Seaborne 6-1, 2-6, 1-0 (11-9).
“It was a tough match today, I played well and it still could’ve gone either way,” said Long. Even though I lost the second set, I knew I was still in it. It was a matter of a few really close breaks. I went up 4-1 in the breaker then got down 7-5 and came back to 9-7. I lost the two match points I had, but after switching sides, I said to myself, ‘I’m winning this.’”
With Oregon (4-1) and Iowa (3-2) splitting No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, it came down to the Ducks’ pair of Long and Minor to seal the doubles point but wasn’t able to get past Iowa’s combo of Ruth Seaborne and Morven McCulloch (6-4).
Lana Buttner and Sofia Hager improved to 4-0 as a pair, finishing their doubles match first, downing Annette Dohanics and Shelby Talcott 6-2. Oregon’s freshman duo of Marlou Kluiving and Lina Åkesson took their match to 4-4 before Caitlin Hindmarsh and Katie Zordani of Iowa came out with the 6-4 win.
Hager gave Oregon its second point to finish out the day going toe-to-toe with Hindmarsh all the way to the tiebreaker. The junior won a tight first set 7-6 before surrendering the second set 6-2 before winning the tiebreaker 10-5.
“It was hard fought win and I’m glad that I was able to keep playing aggressive even though the match got close,” said Hager.
After rallying in the second set to force a tiebreaker, Minor dropped a heartbreaker to McCulloch 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8) in the No. 2 singles slot.
Talcott bested Kluiving 6-2, 6-1 in singles No. 3 while Annette Dohanics downed Lina Åkesson 6-2, 60 in the No. 6 slot. Buttner challenged Zordani in the second set trying to force a tiebreaker, but Zordani came out with the 6-1, 7-5 victory.
“I’m just really excited to compete and fight out there on the courts,” said Long. “And like Paul says, ‘Good things will happen.’”
The Ducks return to action tomorrow in Iowa City, Iowa, against No. 74 DePaul for a neutral site match at 11 a.m. (PST).
Iowa Hawkeyes (3-2) 5, No. 72 Oregon Ducks (4-1) 2
No. 1 – Seaborne/McCulloch (IOWA) def. Long/Minor (UO) 6-4
No. 2 – Hindmarsh/Zordani (IOWA) def. Kluiving/Åkesson (UO) 6-4
No. 3 – Buttner/Hager (UO) def. Dohanics/Talcott (IOWA) 6-2
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
No. 1 – Nicole Long (UO) def. #56 Ruth Seaborne (IOWA) 6-1, 2-6, 1-0 (11-9)
No. 2 – Morven McCulloch (IOWA) def. Jasmine Minor (UO) 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)
No. 3 –Shelby Talcott (IOWA) def. Marlou Kluiving (UO) 6-2, 6-1
No. 4 – Sofia Hager (UO) def. Caitlin Hindmarsh (IOWA) 7-6, 2-6, 1-0 (10-5)
No. 5 – Katie Zordani (IOWA) def. Lana Buttner (UO) 6-2, 7-5
No. 6 – Annette Dohanics (IOWA) def. Lina Åkesson (UO) 6-2, 6-0
Order of finish: 3, 6, 1, 6, 2, 4