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2-0 Oregon hosts Gonzaga and Nevada over weekend

Oregon’s Arron Spencer hits a backhand against Idaho on Jan. 28. Spencer and the Ducks host Gonzaga and Nevada Saturday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

The Duck freshmen came out strong last weekend, with the pairing of Mike Mryhed and Gustavo Loza’s two doubles wins providing a good indication of the finesse that the Ducks can expect from them in the future.

Myrhed also succeeded in his singles matches, winning both in straight sets.

In spite of the maturity that his freshmen demonstrated last weekend, Kowalik believes that the team is only going to get betteThis is the worst tennis that they’re gonna play in their freshman careers, or even their entire careers,” Kowalik said. “And I really feel that it’s the same way with the older guys. This will be the worst tennis of the season for all of them, they’re only gonna get better.”

The returning players also did well. The team’s trio of seniors, Arron Spencer, Thomas Bieri, and Markus Schiller, did not drop a single match.

Schiller in particular showed some early-season dominance and depth. The German-born senior with the powerful serve ran all over Idaho’s Timothy Huynh in a short, 40-minute match.

Schiller gave the crowd a glimpse of his iron will when he came from behind to steal a win from Santa Clara’s Jan Macek after losing the first set, 2-6.

“Markus got the job done,” Kowalik said. “You can’t play your best tennis all the time. But if you can find a way to be successful and win, that’s really what we want to do.”

This weekend Oregon (2-0) first plays a winless Gonzaga team that should be easy pickings for the Ducks.

Led by senior Reid Arthur, the Bulldogs’ roster features four players whom the Ducks defeated when they faced Gonzaga in 2005.

Oregon had no trouble with Gonzaga starters Arthur, Cooper Fratt, Brett Womack and Marco Pineda last season. The Ducks won that dual match 7-0.

In the afternoon, the Ducks go up against the also winless Nevada Wolfpack. Nevada did not see action against Oregon last season.

“We haven’t played Nevada in a while. But they have a new coach and a renewed enthusiasm. So we’re just going to have to come out ready for anything,” Kowalik said.

This season will be Nevada coach Chad Stoloff’s first year in a head coaching position. Previously, he served as the assistant coach at the University of Hawaii.

Oregon plays Gonzaga at 10 a.m. and Nevada at 4 p.m. Saturday.

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