EUGENE – The Oregon Ducks are set to host their last two home matches of the year at the Student Tennis Center, beginning with No. 7 Stanford at noon on Friday, April 11. The Ducks will then honor their seniors in their final home match at the STC against No. 5 California at noon on April 13.
This will be the second and third top-10 team the Ducks have faced this season, all of which came in Pac-12 play. UO has struggled a bit in conference play, having dropped six of its last seven matches, and hasn’t won in conference play since its upset of No. 60 Colorado in early March.
Head coach Paul Reber and assistant coach Maja Kovacheck will honor their three seniors. Lana Buttner, Lena Macomson and Rabea Stueckemann are set to play their lost home match at the Student Tennis Center when the Ducks host the No. 6th-ranked Golden Bears.
The trio of seniors has combined for 69 singles victories in a Duck uniform. Heading into this week’s matches, Buttner is 36-47, Macomson is 3-24, and Stueckemann is 30-41 in singles play.
CARDS ENTER EUGENE
Stanford enters Friday’s noontime match up with a 14-1 overall record and 6-1 mark in Pac-12 play. The Cardinal’s lone loss came at the hands of conference foe, then-No. 3 UCLA, at home but rebounded the next day with a 4-0 sweep of USC.
Stanford’s roster boasts a trio of players with 30-plus wins including a pair of players with 24 wins. The Cardinal’s pair of Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay are 31-9 overall in doubles play with a 9-1 record in conference play. The duo predominantly plays at No. 2 doubles and is currently 21-9 in that slot. Kristie Ahn and Nicole Gibbs who normally occupies the No. 1 doubles slot are 18-6 together on the year with an 8-1 mark in Pac-12 play.
The Cardinal’s roster also has six players ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Kristie Ahn (4th), Carol Zhao (22nd), Taylor Davidson (28th), Ellen Tsay (39th), Caroline Doyle (41st) and Krista Hardebeck (47th) are all ranked in the top 50 for singles.
Although they have yet to play a set together, Ahn and Zhao is the seventh-ranked doubles pair according to the ITA. The same goes for Tsay and Davidson who are the No. 31-ranked doubles pair by the ITA, but have yet to play a set together.
The Ducks and the Bears are set to clash at noon on Sunday, April 13, at the Student Tennis Center for UO’s senior day. California is scheduled to play No. 48 Washington State before heading south to Eugene. The Bears are riding an eight-match winning streak heading into their matchup with the Cougars.
Cal currently sits atop the Pac-12 standings at 7-0 in conference play and 14-4 overall. Before its current win-streak, California had dropped three-straight matches at the end of February to Duke, UCLA and USC. Both matches against the Bruins and Trojans were during non-conference play.
The Bears have six players that are ranked in singles by the ITA with Zsofi Susanyi being their highest ranked singles player, coming in at No. 21. Anett Schutting (24th), Denise Starr (30th), Lynn Chi (35th), Klara Fabikova (94th) and Maegan Manasse (100th) are the other five ranked singles players for the Golden Bears.
There are also four Cal teams that are ranked in doubles. Manasse and Starr (5-0) are ranked No. 37 according to the ITA. Manasse is also ranked No. 44 in doubles with Schutting, who are 4-5 together at doubles No. 1 and 10-5 overall. Starr and Kelly Chui dropped 17 spots in the rankings and are now ranked No. 63 in the nation with a 4-4 overall record. Chi and Schutting are the fourth Cal team ranked by the ITA, coming in at No. 71 with a 9-5 overall record and 4-1 mark playing at doubles No. 1.
LAST TIME OUT
The Ducks continued to struggle in conference play, losing to No. 40 Washington last Sunday, 4-1, at the Student Tennis Center. Oregon nearly stole the doubles point from the Huskies but Nicole Long and Sofia Hager weren’t able to complete the comeback and fell to UW’s pair in Elianne Douglas-Miron and Riko Shimizu 8-7 (10-8).
Marlou Kluiving and Allie Hueffner dominated their doubles No. 3 match, sinking Andjela Nemcevic and Julija Lukac 8-3. Jasmine Minor and Lina Åkesson were outmatched by Grace Ysidora and Natali Coronel, 8-4, at doubles No. 2 setting up Long/Hager for a dramatic finish at doubles No. 1.
Jasmine Minor awarded the Ducks their lone point of the match, defeating Ysidora 6-1, 6-4 at singles No. 2, and also snapped her five-match losing streak.
Long was leading Douglas-Miron, who is ranked No. 107 by the ITA, at singles No. 1, 7-5, 5-3, before their match was abandoned when the Huskies clinched the match.
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.