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Ducks Beat Air Force And Portland To Start 6-0 For The First Time Since 2006
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 02/03/2013
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EUGENE, Ore. - For the second time in three days, the Oregon Ducks swept a day/night doubleheader at the Oregon Student Tennis Center.

In the early match, Oregon toppled Air Force, 7-0, and capped off the night with a 6-1 triumph over Portland.

The Ducks opened the day with a clean sweep of the visiting Air Force Falcons, who came into the match with an admirable 4-1 overall record.  Sophomore Sofia Hager and freshman Brooke Hughes improved to 4-0 in dual matches with an 8-2 win in the No. 3 doubles slot to start the day and senior Julia Metzger teamed with junior Pascale Neubert to defeat the Falcons' Christine Molina and Natasha Rizvi, 8-4, in the No. 2 spot and give Oregon a 1-0 lead in the match.

Oregon continued its dominating performance in singles play.  Senior Patricia Skowronski improved to 5-0 in the No. 1 position with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Molina and sophomore Nicole Long won her ninth-straight singles match by topping Hannah Dake, 6-2, 6-4, in the No. 2 spot.  Hager and Metzger cruised in their No. 3 and No. 4 singles matches, winning 6-1, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-1, respectively.

After junior Rabea Stueckemann put the Ducks up 6-0 with a convincing 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Mary Meyers in the No. 6 match, fellow junior Lana Buttner outlasted Rizvi (7-5, 6-4) to give the Ducks their second shutout victory of the season.

"I was really happy with how we came out with a lot of energy early in the morning," said head coach Paul Reber.  "It helped us take care of business."

In their fourth and final match of the weekend, the Ducks opened the scoring against Portland by outlasting the Pilots in two doubles matches to earn the point.  Skowronski and Long topped Valeska Hoath and Tori Troesch, 8-4, in the No.1 doubles match and, after trailing 6-5, Metzger and Neubert rallied to win the final three games of the pro-set to secure an 8-6 victory.  Skowronski and Long are now 5-0 in dual doubles matches; Metzger and Neubert are 2-1 (dual) and have won 6 of 10 overall.

In singles play, Long won her 10th consecutive match by downing Saroop Dhatt, 7-5, 6-1, in the No. 3 match.  Long was down 4-0 in the first set before winning 13-of-15 to close the match.

"Nicole has been really solid. When she was down 4-0 in the first, I was never really concerned," Reber said.  "She is a very mature player and has a good understanding of the game.  It's nice to go out and watch her figure things out on her own.  She's a smart player and will be fun to watch over the years."

Skowronski won a second-set tiebreaker, 10-8, to beat Maja Mladenovic (6-2, 7-6) in the No. 1 slot and Neubert dropped a tough 6-3, 6-2 match in the No. 2 position.  Skowronski's victory, her seventh in her last 10 tries, put the Ducks up 3-1 in the match.  Metzger secured the match for the Ducks with a 6-1, 6-3 win in the No. 5 match and Buttner picked up her fifth consecutive singles win with a three-set victory in the No. 6 match.  Hager capped off the night with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Anastasia Polyakova in the No. 4 game.

"I was really proud of the way we competed in the second match," Reber said.  "We knew it would be the most difficult match of the weekend because not only were they the strongest team but it was also the fourth match that we had to play in less than three days.

"It was great to be tested and the win really showed how important our conditioning program is.  I'm very proud of the team."

The Ducks improved to 6-0 for the 2013 season - it is the first time that Oregon has won six consecutive matches to start the year since the 2006 season.

Oregon is off until Saturday (Feb. 9) when it hosts UC Davis to complete its seven-game homestand to start the year.

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