Marlou Kluiving thrives as a veteran for Oregon women’s tennis
Marlou Kluiving pumps her left fist at her side as she secures another singles victory for Oregon women’s tennis. A dink into the right service area just in front of the baseline secured this victory, but the intensity on her face quickly fades as she makes her way to the net to wish her opponent from Idaho a job well done.
The indoor courts flutter with sound of applause for the win as the crowd make its way to the other courts, where other matches are still in session.
A win from Kluiving is nothing new to this crowd. This win is her 36th in singles in her just-over-two years as a Duck.
Kluiving, a junior, is one of only two upperclassmen on the team this year. She is the only member remaining from the original 2013 team, including the coaches. She moved to Oregon for college from the Netherlands, where she was ranked No. 46 in singles and No. 40 in doubles.
“I started playing tennis when I was five years old [and] always wanted to become a professional tennis player,” Kluiving said. “But school is really important—that’s why I decided to play college tennis.”
The transition to playing in the United States was odd at first, but Kluiving has grown used to the differences in her three years here.
“It’s just a total different culture. Everything is really big and it’s still hard sometimes to get used to, but I can definitely say that Eugene now is my second home,” Kluiving said. “I love being here and I love being part of the team.”
In her first year with the Ducks, Kluiving and her doubles partner Allie Hueffner took down the No. 40-ranked doubles team from Washington. But it was her standout sophomore year that put Kluiving in the limelight and on the record list.
With a 23-9 overall singles record last spring, Kluiving moved up to seventh all-time on the Oregon single-season singles win list. That same season, she upset of the No. 1-ranked doubles team from UCLA with her partner Nicole Long. She was named to the All-Academic second team in 2015.
Even with her jump to the record list in 2015, head coach Alison Silvero said Kluiving’s gameplay isn’t what has advanced the most.
“The biggest improvement that Marlou has made is the mental side,” head coach Alison Silverio said. “She’s become so mentally tough that whatever opponents throw her, she’s able to adapt, and so she’s really become strong in that sense.”
That toughness has exemplified in her 13-8 doubles record so far this year. But Kluiving also sets an example for the team about how to act off the court.
“She comes out with a smile, she’s pleasant to be around—a great teammate,” Silverio said with a smile.
Freshman Shweta Sangwan shares that respect for Kluiving, as well. She looks to Kluiving as an example for how the team works.
“The older ones can guide us and tell us what to do right and what’s expected,” Sangwan said.
Even though she’s the last player remaining from the team she started with at Oregon, Kluiving said the new group is doing even better than she anticipated.
“As a team now were a lot more disciplined,” Kluiving said. “Everybody wants it even more than the old team.”