EUGENE – It was a battle from start to finish in both doubles and singles, but a crucial victory from Nicole Long at No. 1 singles and Allie Hueffner at No. 6 singles set up senior Lana Buttner for a dramatic win at No. 5 singles. Buttner’s rally in the second set to come back and win in the third set 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 gave Oregon the 4-3 victory over Colorado.
“Obviously it’s always a great feeling to clinch a match,” Buttner said. “I’m very proud of the way the team competed. It was a great win for us.”
The win over No. 60 Colorado (7-6, 0-2 Pac-12) was UO’s first victory against a ranked-opponent since its 5-2 victory over No. 58 Santa Clara in April 21 of last season.
“It was good for us to get a conference win today,” head coach Paul Reber said. “I think we started a little slow in doubles, but were able to pick it up which was huge. Obviously, it was huge because the doubles point came out to be the deciding point. Allie did a great job picking up her first conference win in a dual match, especially under the tight circumstances.”
“Hats off to Lana for clinching the match, it was reminiscent of her freshman year on the road at Colorado where she clinched the match for us as well.” Reber said.
Hueffner’s dramatic win at the No. 6 singles slot gave Oregon (6-5, 1-1 Pac-12) the 3-2 lead before Marlou Kluiving fell to Carla Manzi 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 4 singles position to tie things back up at 3-3.
Buttner dropped her first set 6-4 to Dhanny Quevedo, but the senior showed much more composure than her sophomore nemesis and fired right back to take the second set 6-0. She led 4-1 in the third set before the Buffs’ Quevedo knotted things up, 4-4.
With both teams lined up on court beside her, the Croissy sur Seine, France native reeled off two-straight games to clinch the upset victory.
“I’ve been there a few times throughout my college career,” Buttner said when asked about what was going through her mind when she knew it came down to her. “I had the same situation my freshman year when we were at Colorado with the match tied at 3-3. I just had to keep playing my game and be patiently aggressive. I knew I had my teammates cheering me on and by my side on the next court, so it was a great boost of confidence.”
Long gave Oregon some breathing room in singles play after she dominated Julyette Steur 6-2, 6-0 after Jasmine Minor was the first to go down falling 6-2, 6-1 to Alexandra Aiello. Sofia Hager lost a huge back-and-forth battle with Nuria Ormeno at the No. 3 singles position and eventually fell 7-5, 6-4 to tie the team score at 2-2.
Buttner and Sofia Hager returned to form Sunday afternoon as the pair made quick work of their Colorado counterpart, downing Ormeno and Quevedo 8-2. The pair is now 8-1 in dual play together and 7-0 playing in the No. 3 doubles slot.
The freshman pair of Kluiving and Lina Åkesson was leading 4-3 at one point in their No. 2 doubles match before CU’s Julyette Steur and Ashley Tiefel rallied back to win 8-4.
Long and Minor sealed the doubles point for Oregon just three minutes after Kluiving and Åkesson dropped their match. The Ducks No. 1 doubles pair halted a rally by the Buffaloes to win 8-4.
The Ducks now hit the road for the rest of the month, playing six matches in a nine day span. Oregon begins its nine-day road swing with Arizona State at 12:30 p.m. (PT) on March 21.
Oregon 4, #60 Colorado 3
No. 1 – Long/Minor (ORE) def. Aiello/Manzi (CU) 8-4
No. 2 – Steur/Tiefel (CU) def. Kluiving/Akesson (ORE) 8-4
No. 3 – Buttner/Hager (ORE) def. Ormeno/Quevedo (CU) 8-2
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
No. 1 – Nicole Long (ORE) def. Julyette Steur (CU) 6-2, 6-0
No. 2 – Alexandra Aiello (CU) def. Jasmine Minor (ORE) 6-2, 6-1
No. 3 – Nuria Ormeno (CU) def. Sofia Hager (ORE) 7-5, 6-4
No. 4 – Carla Manzi (CU) def. Marlou Kluiving (ORE) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
No. 5 – Lana Buttner (ORE) def. Dhany Quevedo (CU) 4-6, 6-0, 6-4
No. 6 – Allie Hueffner (ORE) def. Ashley Tiefel (COLO) 7-6, 6-2
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3, 6, 4, 5