Daan Maasland plays final home match of stellar career
Oregon men’s tennis honored its departing seniors, including one of the best in program history, prior to its final home match of the season Sunday.
As the announcer reeled off what seemed like an endless list of accomplishments, Daan Maasland walked forward, waved to the crowd and hugged his coaches. The student section was not chanting his name, and Wolfmother’s “Joker and the Thief” was not blasting in the background while the team took the court.
The senior ceremony characterized Maasland: modest, consistent, successful.
Maasland is a silent leader on the court. While other players yell and direct their frustrations at whatever they choose, Maasland has the cooler head, and cooler heads often prevail. On senior day, his stoic body language projected a laser focus toward the match ahead, but the emotions of the day could not be completely suppressed.
“It went both ways. Of course I had to be focused on the match, but I realized that it was my last time here and I just tried to enjoy it,” Maasland said.
Maasland has quietly amassed one of the most impressive résumés in Oregon tennis. His 76 singles victories and 66 doubles wins rank third all-time, and his freshman year singles record of 23-9 is the third-highest wins total in a single season. He is a four-year letter winner and earned second-team All Pac-12 honors last season.
Maasland holds a 3.6 GPA as a business administration major. He was a Pac-12 All-Academic second-team selection his junior year.
Someone with that list of accomplishments has every right to brag, but Maasland has a habit of being humble. On such an emotional day, do thoughts of his legacy ever enter his mind?
“No, not really … It would make me most happy if we do well as a team,” Maasland said.
Oregon took the 4-0 victory over Utah on senior day, but Maasland was unable to finish his singles match before the Ducks clinched the game. For Maasland, the team victory is what matters. He has led his team to an impressive 15-4 record, and despite the conclusion of home games, the season is far from over. Tough conference road matches against Cal and Stanford loom, and the Pac-12 tournament is a mere two weeks away.
“[The rest of the season] is also on my mind,” Maasland said. “We’ve got to have good matches on the road and in the Pac-12 tournament, with the main goal being to reach the NCAA tournament and do well there.”
After four years of working with Maasland, Oregon head coach Nils Schyllander could not be more complimentary.
“He is so mature and he is a solid person,” Schyllander said. “He takes care of schoolwork and shows up to practice to give it all he has. His character has really put an imprint on this program.”
Maasland raves about the program and how it has impacted him as well.
“I kind of grew up here,” Maasland said. “With tennis, but also outside of the court. I had a great experience with teammates and the whole athletic community.”
Maasland’s name is secured in the Oregon record books. His stats draw eyes, but his personality is what keeps people rooting for his success. He is one of the best tennis players in program history, and if you ask his peers, he’s one of the best people too.
Follow Jack Butler on Twitter @Butler917
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