OJAI, Calif. - The Oregon men's tennis team defeated Washington, 4-2, on Wednesday en route to its first victory at the Pac-12 Championship since the tournament begin in 2012. Under sunny skies at Libbey Park in Ojai, Calif., the seventh-seeded Ducks won the doubles point and three singles matches to win in the first round and keep its season alive.
Head coach Nils Schyllander's squad showed grit in the win, rebounding from a difficult 4-3 loss to Washington just four days earlier in the regular season finale. With the victory, No. 49 Oregon (16-8, 2-6) has posted three consecutive 16-win seasons for the first time since 1980-1982.
The Ducks took 2-of-3 matches against the Huskies this season with its win today and a 4-1 victory on Feb. 28 in nonconference play, which marked UO's first win in the series since 2004. Oregon will now meet third-seeded Stanford (14-4) in the quarterfinals at 2 p.m., Thursday at Libbey Park.
"After a close loss to Washington over the weekend, to comeback, correct a few things and win with the season on the line at the Pac-12 Champioship is huge," said Schyllander. "It took a complete team effort, and I'm very proud of them for that."
The Ducks opened by winning the doubles point just as they did in their previous two meetings with the Huskies. Junior Daniel Sardu and freshman Jayson Amos won five of the last six games to down UW’s Michael Chamerski and Wendell Wanatabe, 8-4, in the No. 3 spot. Sardu and Amos improved to 16-7 in doubles this spring.
With the doubles point coming down to the wire, junior Joey Swaysland and sophomore Daan Maasland came up clutch with an 8-5 in the No. 2 match. They defeated Viktor Farkas and Max Manthou and improved to 12-3 in No. 2 doubles. Oregon has won the doubles point in 19-of-23 matches this season, posting a 16-3 record when winning the match’s first point.
Cambier gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead, turning in a great rebound effort against Egger in the top singles spot. The Brussels, Belgium, native lost a straight set decision to Egger in last week’s regular season finale. Cambier returned the favor when it mattered most, winning 6-4, 6-3, today. The program’s all-time winningest player improved his singles record to 22-9, which is tied for the sixth most wins in a season in UO history.
Amos joined Cambier in hitting the 22-win plateau, likewise, and give the Ducks a 3-0 lead. The Mission Viejo, Calif., native defeated Raman Rishabh, 6-1, 6-4 and improved to 6-0 against the Huskies in singles and doubles this season. Amos has a team-best 18-3 record in spring singles play.
Washington won consecutive matches in No. 2 and 5 singles to mount a rally attempt, pulling within 3-2. Manthou defeated Farin, 6-3, 7-5, in No. 2 singles and Farkas held off Swaysland, 6-4, 6-4 in No. 5 singles.
All eyes were then cast on the No. 3 and 4 matches, each of which went into a third set, as UO needed one win to clinch while UW needed to take both to finish a massive comeback. Maasland and Sardu assured it would be the former rather than the latter, jumping out to 5-2 leads in the third set.
Maasland - a sophomore from Geldrop, Netherlands - finished the job first, claiming the final two sets against Hakak. Maasland won, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, and improved 14-5 in spring singles. Sardu won his first set, 6-3, against Hawke and led 5-2 in third set before the match was left unfinished.
"This feels incredible for the team to get this win and beat Washington for the second time this season," said Cambier. "To have Maasland pull through in three sets with the match coming down to the wire was really big. I'm happy for him and the entire team."
Oregon will meet 27th-ranked Stanford tomorrow with a trip to the semifinals, where second-seeded UCLA awaits, on the line. The Cardinal (14-4, 5-2) have won five straight matches, including a sweep over Oregon at home on April 11.
#44 Oregon (16-8, 2-6) 4, Washington (11-13, 2-6) 2
1. Egger/Hawke (UW) def. #59 Cambier/Farin (UO) 8-5
2. Maasland/Swaysland (UO) def. Farkas/Manthou (UW) 8-5
3. Sardu/Amos (UO) def. Chamerski/Watanabe (UW) 8-4
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
1. #78 Robin Cambier (UO) def. Emmett Egger (UW) 6-4, 6-3
2. Max Manthou (UW) def. Kevin Farin (UO) 6-3, 7-5
3. Daan Maasland (UO) def. Gal Hakak (UW) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. Daniel Sardu (UO) vs. Jeff Hawke (UW) 6-2, 3-6, 5-2, unfinished
5. Viktor Farkas (UW) def. Joey Swaysland (UO) 6-4, 6-4
6. Jayson Amos (UO) def. Raman Rishabh (UW) 6-1, 6-4
Order of finish: 1, 6, 2, 5, 3