Oregon tennis battles sluggish start to capture sweep over Northern Arizona
Oregon displayed its team depth and battled back from a sluggish start to pick up a 7-0 win over Northern Arizona at home Friday afternoon.
Oregon senior and No. 2 player Daan Maasland was a late scratch from singles play due to a minor hand injury, but Oregon responded with a shutout performance despite the absence of one of its top players. Both Maasland and Oregon head coach Nils Schyllander said the injury was minor, and that Maasland merely sat out for precautionary reasons.
With Maasland out, every Oregon player moved up one spot in the rotation. Junior Jayson Amos played in the No. 2 spot for the first time this season. Amos captured a 6-3, 6-2 win to pace an Oregon team that won all six singles matches in straight sets.
“It just shows me that the coaches have confidence in me to get the job done at whatever position,” Amos said. “And that’s my goal: to just do as well as I can at whatever position they put me in.”
The Ducks struggled early in doubles. All three Oregon pairs trailed at the beginning of their respective matches, before an team-wide rally surged them to victory.
No. 3 pair Thomas Laurent and Cormac Cissold won by a score of 6-2. A perfectly placed ace by Laurent clinched the match for the duo.
No. 2 duo Daan Maasland and Simon Stevens finished shortly after with a 6-3 win. Maasland and Stevens trailed 3-2 at one point, but won the next four games to clinch the doubles point for the Ducks.
Despite the strong result, Schyllander was not pleased with the early struggles of his team.
“We did not come out crisp and we didn’t play with the energy that we need,” Schyllander said. “In order to play the way we want to play, you need both mental and physical energy. I think they took it a little lightly.”
Oregon looked like a different team once singles play began, as all six Ducks jumped out to first set leads. Bart Sawicki, playing in his second singles match of the spring, grabbed a quick win by the score of 6-3, 6-0. Ethan Young-Smith, who replaced Maasland and slid into the No. 6 spot, won 6-2, 6-2, and Amos won his match almost simultaneously. Clissold and Laurent both won their matches with no trouble, and Stevens won 6-4, 6-2 after a grueling first set.
Oregon is now 7-1 on the season, with its lone loss coming on the road at No. 4 Baylor. The Ducks are currently ranked No. 42 in the nation and are the sixth-highest-ranked PAC-12 team. They will face No. 46 Louisville at home this Sunday, and a win over the Cardinals could catapult Oregon ahead of No. 41 Washington in the next series of rankings.
Follow Jarrid on Twitter @jdenney50
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