Winning in the Pac-10 isn’t easy, but it is certainly rewarding when it happens.
The Oregon men’s tennis team stood toe-to-toe with No. 53 Arizona and picked up several tight wins in the process to earn a 4-3 win in its Pac-10 opener on Sunday.
UO (10-5, 1-0 Pac-10) won three tight doubles matches and then pulled off three-straight singles wins to earn its first Pac-10 victory since April 13, 2007, a 5-2 win over Arizona. The victory snaps a 21-match losing skid in league duals.
“It feels so good to have this many young guys step up and pick up a really solid conference win,” head coach Nils Schyllander said. “There were so many spots where we got the big points to win with the match on the line. I’m so proud of this team from the first doubles point to Aaron (Clissold) clinching the dual in the third set. With that said we’ll have a well deserved day off and then start preparing for Loyola on Thursday.”
The Ducks started the day by sweeping all three doubles matches to earn the first point. Aaron Clissold and Douglas Mayeda got it started with a crucial service break to snap a 4-4 tie, a break that began a string of five-consecutive wins to hand them the No. 2 doubles match, 8-4 over Andre Vidaller and Jason Zafiros.
A critical service break at the No. 1 match helped Robin Cambier and Alex Rovello get the breathing room they needed to clinch the doubles point with an 8-5 win over Geoff Embry and Kieren Thompson. With the doubles point clinched and No. 3 doubles tied, Baptiste Faynot and Duncan MacDonald-Korth won their first match paired together with a quick 7-2 win in the tiebreaker for a 7-6 match victory.
The Wildcats scored a quick victory at No. 6 singles to tie the match up at one apiece, but the Ducks were victorious in straight sets at the No. 2 and 4 spots. Robin Cambier dominated his first set against Jason Zafiros, but trailed 5-2 in the second before staging a huge comeback for a 6-0, 7-5, victory at No. 2 singles.
Jose Izquierdo followed suit by dispatching Geoff Embry (6-3, 6-2) in straight sets at the four spot to make it 3-1 and put the Ducks one point shy of a win.
The other three singles matches went to three sets and it was the clutch play of Aaron Clissold that clinched the dual win for the Ducks. The sophomore bounced back from dropping the first set and ended up outlasting Kieren Thompson (3-6, 6-2, 6-4) in a third-set that went back and forth and was tied at four apiece.
In the other matches, Baptiste Faynot and Alex Rovello each went the distance with both claiming their first set. Rovello fell just shy of his second win over a ranked opponent during dual play, falling to No. 120 Andres Carrasco (5-7, 6-4, 6-2) at the No. 1 position. Faynot staged a nice comeback bid in the third set and had an opportunity at match point, but Andre Vidaller came back again to win (2-6, 6-3, 7-5) at No. 3 singles.
Oregon returns to the court on Thursday when it faces Loyola Marymount in its first of three duals in three days in Los Angeles.
2011 Oregon Men's Tennis
Oregon 4, #53 Arizona 3
Arizona vs Oregon (Mar 27, 2011)
Mar 27, 2011 at Eugene, Ore. (Student Tennis Center)
|1. #120 CARRASCO, Andres (ARIZ) def. ROVELLO, Alex (ORE) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2|
|2. CAMBIER, Robin (ORE) def. ZAFIROS, Jason (ARIZ) 6-0, 7-5|
|3. VIDALLER, Andre (ARIZ) def. FAYNOT, Baptiste (ORE) 2-6, 6-3, 7-5|
|4. IZQUIERDO, Jose (ORE) def. EMBRY, Geoff (ARIZ) 6-3, 6-2|
|5. CLISSOLD, Aaron (ORE) def. THOMPSON, Kieren (ARIZ) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4|
|6. URQUIDI, Mario (ARIZ) def. MAYEDA, Douglas (ORE) 6-1, 6-4|
|1. ROVELLO, Alex/CAMBIER, Robin (ORE) def. EMBRY, Geoff/THOMPSON, Kieren (ARIZ) 8-5|
|2. MAYEDA, Douglas/CLISSOLD, Aaron (ORE) def. VIDALLER, Andre/ZAFIROS, Jason (ARIZ) 8-4|
|3. FAYNOT, Baptiste/MACDONALD-KORTH, D. (ORE) def. CARRASCO, Andres/CHEN, Frank (ARIZ) 7-6 (7-2)|
|Arizona 8-9 (0-2 Pac-10); National ranking #53|
|Oregon 10-5 (1-0 Pac-10)|
|Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,2,4,5,3,1)|