EUGENE – It’s been a tough two-week stretch for the Oregon women’s tennis team, but with the first of three home matches on the horizon, the Ducks look to gain some momentum heading into Pac-12 Conference play. Oregon is set to entertain Akron at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Student Tennis Center to wrap up its home-and-home series with the Zips after UA took the first match in Akron, Ohio, last season (4-3).
BACK TO BASICS
After using the Intercollegiate Tennis Association experimental scoring system since the start of the 2013-14 season, college tennis has now reverted back to its original pro set scoring system.
Live stats will be available for Saturday's match against Akron can be found by clicking here.
SCOUTING THE ZIPS
The Ducks host the Zips of Akron for their first of three home matches the next two weeks. UA will first play Portland State on Friday before driving south to face Oregon. Barring results from Friday’s match with the Pilots, Akron is 7-2 on the season after falling to Youngstown State 5-2 on Feb. 15.
The Zips opened their dual season on a six-match winning streak before dropping their first match at Penn, 6-1. Akron bounced back in its next match against St. Joseph’s 6-1, but suffered their latest defeat to Youngstown State 5-2.
UA went 18-10 last season after winning two-straight Mid-American Conference championships in 2011 and 2012. The Zips lost three seniors and four others to transfers but reloaded with four new freshmen. Akron returns three players with 10-plus singles victories in Ksenia Berestetska (19-6), Olga Shkundina (19-8) and Madison Cohen (12-16). Berestetska is 8-1 so far this season while freshman Karolina Maksimava is second on the team with a 6-2 mark and Olga Shkundina is 5-1.
LAST TIME OUT
Oregon dropped its fourth-straight match this weekend falling to then-No. 29 Oklahoma State 7-0 followed by a loss to Minnesota 6-1. The last time the Ducks were swept was near the end of last season when No. 11 Cal and No. 12 Stanford swept Oregon in back-to-back matches in the bay area.
Nicole Long was the Ducks’ lone win in singles play after she defeated Minnesota’s Tereza Brichova in a tiebreaker. The junior dropped her first set in a close battle 7-6 (4) but was able to come back in the second set to win 7-5 before grinding out with the 1-0 (5) victory in the tiebreaker. Long is now 4-for-4 when playing in matches that have gone into a tiebreaker.
Lana Buttner and Sofia Hager continued their winning ways earning their sixth-straight doubles match in dual play Sunday. The senior-junior combo for Oregon made quick work of the Gophers’ pair of Lambert/Rincon Otero, with an 8-2 win at No. 3 singles.
NEW FACES ON THE COURT
For the first time since the 2010 season, Oregon will have five freshmen on the roster. Lina Åkesson, Allie Hueffner, Kadie Hueffner, Marlou Kluiving and Maja Salibasic look to compete with the six upperclassmen for one of the six spots in singles action.
Åkesson hails from Bunkeflostrand, Sweden, where she compiled a 23-19 mark in the ITF junior girl’s circuit and reached as high as No. 562 in rankings. Allie and Kadie Hueffner come to Oregon having won back-to-back OSAA State Championships their junior and senior year in doubles play. Allie also compiled a 21-18 record in singles play competing in multiple United States Tennis Association matches while Kadie had a 23-15 mark.
Kluiving, a native of Eext, Netherlands, joins the Ducks with experience in the ITF circuit as well as experience with the Dutch National Team. She was ranked No. 46 in singles play and No. 40 for doubles in the Netherlands. Salibasic rounds out the group of freshmen for Oregon, hailing from Lukavac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was once the top-ranked junior player in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 10, 12, 14 and 16 under categories in addition to her experience in ITF tournaments.
BALANCED ROSTER FOR DUCKS IN 2014
The Oregon women’s tennis team will have a nice mix of upper classmen and underclassmen representation this year with a trio of seniors and juniors and five freshmen. Lana Buttner, Lana Buttner and Rabea Stueckemann represent the senior class while Sofia Hager, Nicole Long and Jasmine Minor.
REBER SIGNS TOBITA FOR 2015
Head coach Paul Reber announced the signing of five-star athlete Alyssa Tobita of Mililani High School. The Mililani, Hawaii, native is a three-time Hawaii High School Athletic Association champion. Tobita also led the Trojans to their sixth-straight Oahu Interscholastic Association title last spring, her third since attending Mililani. She enters the 2014 season, her senior campaign, seeking her fourth-straight singles title.
NORTH CENTER COURT NAMED IN HONOR OF ALEX ROVELLO
In front of a crowd of over 200 friends, family, teammates and members of the UO community, the Oregon men’s tennis team hosted a court dedication ceremony in honor of Alex Rovello on Nov. 9, 2013, at the Student Tennis Center. The program officially named the center court on the north side of the facility the Alex Rovello Court, a fitting tribute to the remarkable career and life of Rovello, who passed away in a diving accident.