EUGENE, Ore. -- Senior Robin Cambier tallied one of the biggest individual wins in program history, taking down the third-ranked player in the nation in three sets. Cambier - Oregon’s winningest all-time player - defeated top-ranked USC’s No. 3 Ray Sarmiento, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, on Friday at the Student Tennis Center.
The Trojans (18-2) snapped 27th-ranked Oregon’s (14-2) 11-match win streak despite Cambier’s highlight victory. The Ducks put up a valiant fight in all nine matches before falling 6-1 to the Trojans, who recently took the top spot in the latest ITA rankings.
The Ducks were in the thick of things in nearly all singles matches, but the Trojans handed Oregon its first home loss of the season.
“We played our tails off,” said head coach Nils Schyllander. “We were right in the thick of things for a long time, and could’ve made things interesting. I’m very pleased with the energy and effort, although I wish the outcome was different.”
The No. 2 singles match pitted two ranked opponents together for the second time of their careers; third-ranked Sarmiento from USC, and No. 103 Cambier for the Ducks. Cambier first played Sarmiento as a sophomore on March 31, 2012, in a Trojan victory. Cambier took only one game against Sarmiento, who was ranked 23rd in the nation at the time (6-0, 6-1).
This time, Cambier outplayed Sarmiento over the course of three sets in an incredible turnaround. Cambier dropped the first set, 2-6, but cruised in the second set to post a 6-3 advantage. The third-set was tied four games apiece before Cambier took a 5-4 edge, then reached match-point in the following game. With Sarmiento holding serve, Cambier hit two returns before Sarmiento’s forehand sailed long.
Cambier collected his 20th singles win of the season, improving to 20-4 on the campaign. The Brussels, Belgium, native has posted 20-win single season in all four years as a Duck.
“The first set, I got broken by a bad service game, but I played very solid in the second and third set,” said Cambier. “I focused on my first serve percentage and playing simple tennis before taking the big shot when I had an opportunity.”
The Trojans got on the board first, winning No. 1 and 3 doubles to take a 1-0 lead. It was just the second time all season Oregon has failed to win the doubles point.
The Ducks battled USC hard in singles, forcing three matches to a third-set or extra games. USC’s #100 Max de Vroome defeated Daniel Sardu, 6-2, 6-4, in No. 4 singles to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead. Joey Swaysland took four games in the first set and three in the second before falling to Eric Johnson in the No. 5 spot.
USC clinched the team victory by winning a hard-fought match in the top singles position. Sophomore Kevin Farin battled hard in each set before falling, 6-4, 6-4, to 12th-ranked Yannkick Hanfmann.
Freshman Jayson Amos won his first set against Michael Grant, 6-2, and looked poised to win his 12th consecutive match. Grant won the second and third sets to hand Amos just his second loss in dual singles.
Cambier’s big victory in No. 2 singles provided UO’s first point, making the score 5-1, before #56 Roberto Quiroz won in No. 3 singles to close the match. Sophomore Daan Maasland won the first three games in both sets before Quiroz rallied to a 7-5, 7-5 win.
“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get a win today against the top-ranked team in the country, and that says a lot about our ambitions and goals this season.”
Oregon will return to the Student Tennis Center tomorrow, hosting No. 5 UCLA at 11:30 a.m. (PST).
No. 1 USC (18-2) 6, No. 27 Oregon (14-2) 1
1. #5 Hanfmann/Sarmiento (USC) def. Cambier/Farin (ORE) 8-3
2. Swaysland/Maasland (ORE) vs. Quiroz/Crystal (USC) 4-7, unfinished
3. de Vroome/Johnson (USC) Sardu/Amos (ORE) 8-5
Order of finish: 1, 3,
1. #12 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. Kevin Farin (ORE) 6-4, 6-4
2. #110 Robin Cambier (ORE) def. #3 Ray Sarmiento (USC) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
3. #56 Roberto Quiroz def. Daan Maasland (ORE) 5-7, 5-7
4. #100 Max de Vroome (USC) def. Daniel Sardu (ORE) 2-6, 4-6
5. Eric Johnson (USC) def. Joey Swaysland (ORE) 6-4, 6-3
6. Michael Grant (USC) def. Jayson Amos (ORE) 6-2, 2-6, 1-6
Order of finish: 4, 5, 1, 6, 2, 3