AKRON, Ohio - Oregon's first match away from Eugene this season turned into a thriller against East Tennessee State in Akron, Ohio, on Saturday afternoon.
But the resilient Ducks rose to the occasion.
With the match all squared at three, Oregon's fate and unblemished record was left to junior Lana Buttner in the No. 5 singles match.
Buttner took the first set from Buccaneer sophomore Jessica Brumit, 6-1, but Brumit was able to claw her way back in the match by taking the second set from Buttner, 6-3. In the decisive third set, the Oregon junior held off Brumit, 6-4, to give her team a heart-stopping win and its eighth victory in as many tries to start the season.
"I have to give a lot of credit to Lana," Oregon head coach Paul Reber said. "She played her heart out and came through for us to clinch the win."
The Ducks (8-0) are out to their best start since beginning 9-0 to start the 2004 spring. East Tennessee State fell to 2-2 with the loss. The Buccaneers lost both games in Akron this weekend, falling 4-3 as well to the host Zips on Friday.
In the earlier matches, Oregon nabbed the doubles point by taking two out of three from East Tennessee State. Senior Patricia Skowronski and sophomore Nicole Long won their team-leading seventh dual doubles match in the No. 1 slot by topping the Bucs' Antonia Kolovou and Giulia Andreazza, 8-4. The Oregon duo is now 8-2 overall.
In the No.2 doubles match, senior Julia Metzger and sophomore Sofia Hager beat Lyn Yee Choo and Anna Gerbasi, 8-5, for their first doubles win as a team in the dual season. Buttner and Lena Macomson fell, 8-4, in the No. 3 match to East Tennessee State's Salma Dahbi and Sofia Espana.
In singles play, Skowronski lost for the first time this season, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6) to Kolovou in the No. 1 match but Long won her conference-leading 12th straight singles match by handling Andreazza, 6-0, 6-2, in the No. 2 position. Including her tournament matches, Long is now 15-2 overall.
Metzger improved to 6-1 in dual play with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win in the No. 3 match. Hager and Macomson fell in their No. 4 and No. 6 singles matches, respectively. Metzger's victory marked the Ducks' third point of the afternoon and it helped set the stage for Buttner with the match tied, 3-3. She has won four straight singles matches which ranks second on the team behind only Long.
"We didn't play our best tennis today," Reber said. "But I was happy that we came away with a win. That's the important thing. We have to make sure we are ready to play tomorrow."
Oregon hits the court again tomorrow morning against the University of Akron. Match time is slated for 9:30 a.m. (PT). The match can be followed live on twitter via Akron's official women's tennis feed, @ZipsWTEN.
Complete Match Results (Oregon 4, East Tennessee State 3)
1. Kolovou (ETSU) def. Skowronski (UO), 6-2, 7-6 (8-6)
2. Long (UO) def. Andreazza (ETSU), 6-0, 6-2
3. Metzger (UO) def. Gerbasi (ETSU), 6-3, 6-2
4. Choo (ETSU) def. Hager (UO), 6-1, 6-3
5. Buttner (UO) def. Brumit (ETSU), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
6. Dahbi (ETSU) def. Macomson (UO), 6-1, 6-2
1. Skowronski/Long (UO) def. Kolovou/Andreazza (ETSU), 8-4
2. Metzger/Hager (UO) def. Choo/Gerbasi (ETSU), 8-5
3. Dahbi/Espana (ETSU) def. Buttner/Macomson (UO), 8-4