EUGENE, Ore. -- In a thrilling Pac-12 contest where no point came without a lengthy battle, Utah rallied to stun No. 27 Oregon on Friday at the Student Tennis Center. Utah won the final three singles matches in three sets to overturn UO’s advantage, winning by a 4-2 margin.
Oregon (14-4, 0-3) won the doubles point and took a 2-0 lead behind junior Daniel Sardu’s win, but Utah (13-5, 1-2) won four straight matches - including three in a third set - to hand UO a difficult loss. With the score tied at 2-2, the remaining three singles matches went to a third set. Utah claimed the third set of No. 2 singles 6-4 and won a tiebreaker in No. 6 singles to clinch, leaving the No. 3 match unfinished as it went into an extra game.
“We played well in doubles but came out too defensive in singles, and next thing you know, we were in a dog fight,” said head coach Nils Schyllander. “We put ourselves in a position we didn’t need to be in.”
Although singles play was incredibly tight, UO assumed control of doubles and jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Senior Robin Cambier and sophomore Kevin Farin downed Slim Hamza and Cedric Willems, 8-5, in No. 1 singles and improved their team-best record to 18-4. Sardu and freshman Jayson Amos clinched with a win in the No. 3 spot, downing Matt Cowley and Alejandro Medinilla, 8-5. Junior Joey Swaysland and sophomore Daan Maasland’s held a 7-2 advantage in their No. 2 match before it was left unfinished.
Sardu, a native of Budapest, Hungary, cruised in No. 4 singles over Utah’s Willems. After claiming the first set 6-2, Sardu clinched with a 6-3 advantage in the second set to improve to 14-6 on the season. Utah responded with a 6-4, 6-4, win in No. 5 singles.
Cambier dropped his No. 1 singles match to Hamza as Utah pulled level, 2-2. Cambier won the second set 6-2, but fell two games short in the third set. Ben Tasevac rallied to defeat Farin in the No. 2 spot, giving the Utes a 3-2 advantage.
Despite a huge third set rally from Amos, Utah’s Cowley claimed the deciding point in No. 6 singles. Amos forced a third set by winning a tiebreaker, taking the second set, 7-6 (7-4). Cowley took a 5-1 lead in the third set before Amos won four straight games and forced yet another tiebreaker. Cowley prevailed in the final set, 7-6 (7-5), as the Utes captured their first Pac-12 victory.
Maasland’s No. 3 match was left unfinished as it went into an extra game in the third set.
Oregon will play at the Student Tennis Center for the final time this regular season on Saturday, hosting Arizona (11-10, 0-2). The match will get underway at 1:30 p.m. (PST). Oregon will honor its lone senior, Robin Cambier, between doubles and singles play.
No. 58 Utah (13-5, 1-2) 4, No. 27 Oregon (14-4, 0-3) 2
1. Cambier/Farin (ORE) def. Hamza/Willems (Utah) 8-5
2. Swaysland/Maasland (ORE) vs. Tasevac/Lane (Utah) 7-2, UF
3. Sardu/Amos (ORE) def. Cowley/Medinilla (Utah) 8-5
Order of finish: 1, 3, UF
1. Slim Hamza (Utah) def. #110 Robin Cambier (ORE) 3-6, 6-2, 4-6
2. Ben Tasevac (Utah) def. Kevin Farin (ORE) 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-4
3. Daan Maasland (ORE) vs. Alejandro Medinilla (Utah) 5-7, 6-3, 5-6, unfinished
4. Daniel Sardu (ORE) def. Cedric Willems (Utah) 6-2, 6-4
5. Devin Lane (Utah) def. Joey Swaysland (ORE) 4-6, 4-6
6. Matt Cowley (Utah) def. Jayson Amos (ORE) 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5)
Order of finish: 4, 5, 1, 2, 6, UF