Oregon rides renewed strength to take down UC Santa Barbara
After taking an unusually long two-week break from its competition schedule, the Oregon women’s tennis team rode a wave of positive energy to disrupt UC Santa Barbara’s winning streak on Friday afternoon at the Student Tennis Center. The Ducks won 5-2.
The Ducks swept the doubles section with two of their pairs taking wins, forcing the third match to go unfinished.
“Certainly proud of our performance in the doubles,” head coach Alison Silverio said. “I thought we did that well with our first serve and our first volleys. It was great to see (Nia Rose and Daniela Nasser) and (Alyssa Tobita and Shweta Sangwan) get it done, and (Marlo Kluiving and Julia Eshet) to be in a position to win that match.”
Kluiving and Tobita were the first two to secure wins in the singles category. Kluiving mowed down UCSB’s Amanda Atanasson with scores of 6-1 and 6-0, and Tobita took down Stefani Stojic 6-1, 6-3.
Tobita attributed her strong forehand stroke to her solid performance on Friday.
“My forehand is my best shot and I think that I wasn’t over hitting it today, so it helped me to get an advantage,” Tobita said. “We played especially well in the doubles. There was really good energy. We were hitting our spots. We were putting the ball in the right place.
“We were just seeing the court really well today.”
Nia Rose was the last player standing as she dueled Palina Dubavets over a full three sets before heading into a tie breaker. Though Dubavets ultimately emerged victorious, Silverio was proud of Rose’s perseverance.
“(The match can drag on) when you have two great players,” Silverio said. “Santa Barbara’s a great team, and their girl at No. 1 that Nia played is a phenomenal player. It was just a very high-quality match. There’s going be a winner and there’s gonna be a loser.”
Before Friday, Oregon last played on the road against Baylor and TCU. Silverio said the Ducks weren’t as tough in the adverse moments as they were Friday against the Gauchos.
“We had opportunities in both those matches to win, but we didn’t quite push through the finish line,” Silverio said. “I think it was great for us to have those lessons early on like we had a couple weeks ago. We were able to conquer a tough team today and battle through the pressure moments.”
This year, the team’s goal is to make it to the NCAA Championships, where Silverio said they hope to make a splash.
“The wonderful thing is that this team’s hungry,” she said. “They’re excited to bring it every single day. I think this is gonna be a motivating momentum shift for them into tomorrow’s practice and also into Sunday’s match.”
The Ducks return to action when they host Houston on Sunday at 9 a.m.
View full results of the match here.
Follow Romaine Soh on Twitter @mainetainpls
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