EUGENE, Ore. - After capping a 17-7 season, the University of Oregon men's tennis team heads into the off season confident and poised for next year with the best returning team they have had since 1993. Head coach Nils Schyllander leads five returning starters among the seven returning letter winners into the summer with high hopes for the coming 2012-13 season.
The excitement within the men's tennis locker room is warranted as the 2011-12 squad posted 17 wins, the most since the 1994-95 season, including three victories over nationally ranked programs. The Ducks were ranked within the ITA top 75 for the entirety of the spring dual schedule reaching as high as No. 38 on Mar. 5. Oregon returns their top four singles performers while maintaining the best doubles tandem in school history.
Headlined by the record-breaking duo of Robin Cambier and Jeff Mullen, the Ducks experienced unprecedented success in dual doubles action. The Ducks placed two different teams inside the school's all-time doubles wins in a season top-10. Chief among them, Cambier and Mullen shattered the previously held record of 19 wins held by Mike Goldstein and John DeVorss since 1994 with a record of 28-4 including 19 spring dual victories alone. Cambier and Mullen finished the year ranked the No. 69 doubles team in the country and will surely vault up the list in the preseason ranking next season. Also cracking the Oregon top-10 were Alex Rovello and Jose Izquierdo who combined for a doubles record of 19-5, tying the previously No. 1 record of Goldstein and DeVorss. While Izquierdo graduates in the spring, Rovello remains and is likely to join freshman standout Daniel Sardu when the Ducks take the courts for the first time next year.
There was no shortage of impressive performances in singles play. Both Cambier and Rovello improved on their freshman campaigns with 20-win sophomore years. For Cambier, his 24-8 singles tally landed him tied for second on Oregon's all-time best singles season list. Cambier now hold two different spots, one of only two players to lay claim to that accomplishment with the other being Sven Swinnen arguably the greatest men's tennis player in Oregon school history. Rovello posted a 21-12 campaign landing him tied for eighth on the all-time list. The Oregon coaching staff believes the program is ready to take a step to the next level, and Cambier and Rovello will be the ones to do it.
Newcomers Mullen and Sardu provided strong support throughout the year in the middle of the singles lineup. Sardu, competing as a true freshman, posted a 22-11 season placing him in a tie for fifth in school history for singles wins in a season. The Sopron, Hungary-native was a clutch performer all year leading the team with five dual-clinching match victories. In Mullen's first season with the Ducks after transferring from Boise State, the 6'8" lefty saw time at all four top singles spots posting nine spring dual singles victories.
Looking ahead to next year, the Ducks will welcome newcomers Brent Chin and Daan Maasland. Maasland, a stand out prep athlete in his home country of the Netherlands, brings valuable international experience having been rated as high as the No. 2 Dutch under-18 player. Chin, a Portland, Ore.-native and four-star prospect as rated by tennisrecruiting.net, is a three-time state champion at Grant HS including an individual third-place finish as a junior. Both Maasland and Chin will provide added depth to an already loaded Ducks roster.
For now, the Oregon men have returned to the practice courts where they will begin their training for the fall of 2012. The summer provides a valuable opportunity to look back at each athlete's season, make adjustments and implement changes on the practice courts without throwing off their in-season rhythm. Follow the Ducks at GoDucks.com for the latest news, schedule updates and features throughout the off season.