No. 28 Oregon begins Pac-12 play this weekend with its highest ranking since 2005
This weekend, Oregon women’s tennis will begin Pac-12 play against Washington State with the highest ranking the Ducks have seen since 2005: No. 28.
After an away stint, the Ducks returned to Eugene on Sunday with a clean sweep of Boise State, 7-0. The Ducks improved their record to 8-2 for the preseason and picked up their sixth consecutive win before heading into conference play.
Head coach Alison Silvero called the win “a step in the right direction for our program and certainly leading into Pac-12s.”
Last season, the Ducks had totaled four losses heading into the notoriously-strong Pac-12 season.
The Ducks fell in six straight matches against Pac-12 opponents, including No.1 USC, No. 4 UCLA and No. 3 Cal.
This season, Oregon is positioned fourth in the Pac-12, entering the conference play at one of its highest ranks in recent years.
“We’ve got a tough road ahead but that’s the exciting part,” Silverio said. “We want to play the best of the best because that’s how you’re going to get to be the best.”
Oregon will have the opportunity to play those best of the best opponents soon enough. The Ducks are scheduled to take on No. 27 UCLA at the end of the month followed by No.2 Cal and No. 20 Stanford on the first and second days of April, respectively.
Oregon has proven itself as a strong doubles contender in recent matches. And if the Ducks can continue with their strong doubles play performances, they will have a chance to compete with the top contenders of the conference.
One example of that doubles power is the Oregon doubles team of Kennan Johnson and Shweta Sangwan. The pair is currently 9-2 overall for the season in doubles.
The two newcomers have clicked in recent matches, taking down opponents from Boise State, No. 64 Hawaii and No. 53 Oklahoma.
Oregon’s first Pac-12 match is next Friday, March 11 in Eugene. The Ducks will take on Washington State, followed by Washington on Sunday for the annual Women in Flight match.
“You’ve got to compete against the tough opponents, and the Pac-12 is a great conference,” Silverio said. “We’re going to have to put it on the line every single match.”
Follow Madison Layton on Twitter @MadisonLayton01
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