SportsWomen's Tennis

Oregon women’s tennis opens 2017 season with 6-1 win against Portland

Entering her final season at Oregon, senior Marlou Kluiving understands — and appreciates — the importance of a strong start to each season.

She and her teammates did just that, as the Ducks defeated Portland 6-1 to begin their 2017 season.

“It’s really exciting to be back,” Kluiving said. “We came out strong and were fighting on every court.”

Playing at the Student Tennis Center, the hosts took the doubles point to begin the afternoon with the pairs of Schweta Sangwan/Alyssa Tobita and Marlou Kluving/Julia Eshet winning their matches 6-4 and 6-2, respectively.

“It was a really well-played match today on both sides,” head coach Alison Silverio said. “There was a little bit of nerves at the beginning of doubles, but we were able to work through those.”

The Ducks went 5-1 in singles, not losing a set in any of their victories. Kluiving took care of Tanya Grigoryan quickly with a 6-0, 6-2 victory that she controlled from start to finish.

A senior, Kluiving is motivated to leave everything out on the court in her final season.

“It’s my last year, so I want to make it the best year I’ve ever had,” said Kluiving. “It’s an honor to play here.”

Opposite Kluiving are freshmen Julia Eshet and Rifanty Dwi Kahfiani, who both came out with victories in their singles matches. Eshet defeated Emily Soares 6-4, 6-2, and Kahfiani — in her first collegiate match — downed Anna Oberg 6-4, 6-2.

“It was certainly exciting to see our freshmen turn their nerves into victories,” said Silverio. “Our upperclassmen did a great job leading the team today as well.”

Other singles matches saw Sangwan defeat Jelena Lukic 6-2, 3-3 before Lukic medically retired, and Tobita win her match in straight sets over Jelena Lazarevic, 6-3, 6-0. After dropping the opening set, Nia Rose was able to force Portland’s Radina Dimitrova to the brink, before falling 6-1, 3-6, 11-9.

It’s a strong start for a team which is eager to make its mark this upcoming season.

“I think we can get really far,” said Kluiving. “We have a lot of hard workers.”

The Ducks have Saturday off before hosting against Georgia Tech on Sunday. Prior to coming to Oregon in 2014, Silverio had spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach for Georgia Tech, where she helped guide the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2012 and 2013.

“We want to play the best competition,” Silverio said.  “… It will be fun to see the improvements we can make from match to match.”

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Cole Kundich

Cole Kundich