Men's TennisSports

Men’s tennis comes painfully close to win over No. 8 USC, falls 4-3

Oregon came within two sets of capturing its most impressive win of this season, but fell just short against the No. 8 USC Trojans.

Oregon (13-4) found itself in prime position to knock off the Trojans (12-3) despite trailing early. Tied 3-3 after a doubles match and five singles games, the match came down to a winner-take-all tiebreaker between Oregon’s Simon Stevens and USC’s Jake DeVine on court No. 3.

Stevens trailed 3-0 in the first set but rallied back to tie it 3-3 and ultimately force a tiebreaker, which he won 9-7. DeVine took the second set 7-5, which forced a third set tiebreaker just minutes after Oregon’s Cormac Clissold captured a win at No. 5 to bring the match to a 3-3 tie.

With all the pressure on Stevens and DeVine to deliver a win for their respective teams, they played a tight set that was even at 4-4 before DeVine tallied off two consecutive winning sets. Stevens pushed the match to 40-40 while trailing 5-4 and had a chance to draw even again if he could break DeVine’s serve, but DeVine slammed home an ace to clinch the win for the Trojans.

With that loss, the Ducks drop to 0-2 in Pac-12 play following their Friday loss to No. 6 UCLA. Oregon won the doubles portion of Sunday’s match, marking the 11th straight match in which it has captured the doubles point.

The Ducks received singles wins at No. 4 from Jayson Amos and No. 5 from Clissold. Amos never trailed and finished with his best win of the season against 58th-ranked Logan Smith, and Clissold won 7-5, 6-6, 7-3 against Thibault Forget.

Oregon now has the luxury an easier schedule as it continues conference play. USC and UCLA are the two top-ranked teams in the conference. California is the only team remaining on Oregon’s regular schedule that holds a better ranking than the Ducks.

The Ducks will play their final two home matches of the regular season next week, when they host Arizona on April 1 and Utah on April 3.

Follow Jarrid Denney on Twitter @Jarrid_Denney

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Jarrid Denney

Jarrid Denney

Jarrid Denney is an associate sports editor and senior reporter at the Daily Emerald. He primarily covers the Oregon football and baseball beats. Follow along for Twitter updates @jarrid_denney.