ATHENS, Ga. – Junior Daniel Sardu and freshman Jayson Amos tallied Oregon’s first wins at the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship in program history before Oregon’s rally attempt fell short. The Ducks fell to second-seeded North Carolina State, 4-2, Saturday morning in a first round match at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. UO made its first NCAA postseason appearance since 2004 and the fourth in program history.
After being shutout in its previous three postseason matches, Sardu and Amos’ wins provide the latest milestone for the Ducks’ banner season. Oregon will close the 2014 campaign with a 17-10 record and numerous accomplishments. This season, UO earned its first top 25 national ranking in program history, reached the semifinals of the Pac-12 Championship for the first time and claimed two wins over rivals, Washington.
Despite suffering a tough setback in the first round today, Oregon has proven itself as a growing power this season while helping secure a bright future for the program. Head coach Nils Schyllander and associate head coach Jonas Piibor have led UO to three straight 16-win seasons for the first time since 1980-82. While the Ducks will graduate senior Robin Cambier – the best player in program history – UO will return nine players and six letterwinners, and are poised to continue reaching new heights next season.
“We’re proud of what we accomplished as a program this season,” said Schyllander. “We’ve reached a lot of new highs this year and we know we have what it takes to compete at this level. We’re ready to rev up the engine for next season and continue setting the bar higher for Oregon tennis.”
After the Wolfpack won the doubles point and the No. 2 singles match, Oregon trailed 2-0 before mounting a valiant comeback. Junior Daniel Sardu registered UO’s first point by defeating Simon Norenius in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Sardu, a native of Sopron, Hungary, closes the season with a 17-10 overall record. With three straight quality seasons, Sardu has quietly climbed the UO record books, ranking sixth in all-time singles wins (58).
Jayson Amos leveled the score at 2-2, securing the winningest season by a freshman in UO history. The Mission Viejo, Calif., native defeated Sean Weber, 6-4, 6-3, in No. 5 singles to close the season with a 24-5 record. His 24 wins are tied for the second most in a season in program history. Amos posted an incredible 20-3 record in the spring season.
With Cambier holding a narrow lead in the third set of his No. 1 singles match, the Wolfpack were able to claim consecutive wins in No. 3 and 6 singles to clinch and advance. First, North Carolina State’s Nick Horton battled past sophomore Daan Maasland, 7-6 (4), 6-3. Through two seasons at UO, Maasland has an impressive 37-15 singles record. Junior Joey Swaysland won his first set against Thomas Weigel in the No. 6 spot, but Weigel took momentum and earned a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, victory to clinch. In his first season at Oregon, the Australia native posted an 11-13 singles record.
Cambier’s match with Robbie Mudge was left unfinished in the third set, heading into an extra game. Cambier won the first set, 6-3, and held a 6-5 advantage in the third set. The Brussels, Belgium, native will closes his collegiate career as the program leader in career singles (90) and doubles (92) wins.
“This was a very hard fought match that came down to some third sets,” said Schyllander. “The match was right there for the taking, but unfortunately, we came up a fraction of an inch short.”
The Wolfpack will meet top-seeded and host Georgia in the second round tomorrow at 10 a.m. (PT).
Oregon closes the spring season with an 85-44 (.659) record in singles and a 45-22 (.672) record in doubles.
#26 North Carolina State (18-9) 4, #44 Oregon (17-10) 2
1. #44 Cambier/Farin (UO) vs. #29 Mudge/Dempster (NCSU) 6-7, unfinished
2. #57 Horton/Weber (NCSU) def. Maasland/Swaysland (UO) 8-3
3. Powell/Norenius (NCSU) def. Sardu/Amos (UO) 8-7 (3)
Order of finish: 2, 3
1. #72 Robin Cambier (UO) vs. Robbie Mudge (NCSU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-5, unfinished
2. #56 Austin Powell (NCSU) def. Kevin Farin (UO) 6-4, 6-4
3. Nick Horton (NCSU) def. Daan Maasland (UO) 7-6 (4), 6-3
4. Daniel Sardu (UO) def. Simon Norenius (NCSU) 6-3, 6-4
5. Jayson Amos (UO) def. Sean Weber (NCSU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Thomas Weigel (NCSU) def. Joey Swaysland (UO) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
Order of finish: 2, 4, 5, 3, 6