EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 59 ranked University of Oregon men's tennis team fought until the end, but was defeated by the three-time defending national champion USC Trojans, 7-0, on Saturday (Mar. 31) at the Student Tennis Center in Eugene, Ore.
The Ducks fall to 14-3 while dropping their second conference match in a row.
Oregon will hit the road next weekend (Apr. 5-7) as they take on Saint Mary's, Stanford and Cal in three consecutive duals in as many days.
"In some spots we really played them tough," remarked head coach Nils Schyllander. "We learned a lot from yesterday. The next step is when we get in those situations against a team like USC we've got to capitalize because you only get so many opportunities."
The No.1 ranked Trojans (21-0) swept the doubles to start off the dual behind Steve Johnson and Roberto Quiroz. Johnson and Quiroz make up the No. 15 ranked doubles tandem in the country. The USC pair knocked off the previously unbeaten Oregon No. 1 doubles team in junior Jeff Mullen and sophomore Robin Cambier, 8-2. Mullen and Cambier's first loss of the spring drops them to 15-1 and is just the second loss of the entire year for the record-breaking Oregon team.
In singles, USC's ranked players took care of business at the top of the lineup with quick victories for Johnson over sophomore Alex Rovello, 6-1, 6-1 and Ray Sarmiento over Cambier, 6-0, 6-1. The Ducks best chance to nab a point came at court No. 4 where freshman Daniel Sardu took No. 53 Emilio Gomez to a third-set tiebreaker. After winning the first set, Sardu dropped the next two ultimately falling to Gomez, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 10-6.
"We need to take a day off and get ready for the road," said coach Schyllander. "We're 14-3 and we still have a chance to make this season really special."
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No. 59 Oregon 0–7 No. 1 USC
1) No. 2 Steve Johnson (USC) def. Alex Rovello (UO) 6-1, 6-1
2) No. 23 Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. Robin Cambier (UO) 6-0, 6-1
3) No. 13 Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. Jeff Mullen (UO) 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
4) No. 53 Emilio Gomez (USC) def. Daniel Sardu (UO) 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 10-6
5) Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. Jose Izquierdo (UO) 6-4, 6-4
6) Eric Johnson (USC) def. Sho Higuchi (UO) 7-6 (7-3), 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 5*, 6, 3, 4
* indicates clinching match
1) No. 15 Johnson/Quiroz (USC) def. Mullen/Cambier (UO) 8-2
2) No. 18 Nguyen/Sarmiento (USC) def. Rovello/Izquierdo (UO) 8-3
3) Gomez/Hanfmann (USC) def. Mayeda/Sardu (UO) 8-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3*, 2
*indicates clinching match