Laurent ties UO record, Oregon men’s tennis sweeps Drake
In a battle of two ranked teams, No. 23 Oregon flexed its muscles against No. 45 Drake on Sunday afternoon at the Student Tennis Center.
“I thought we played really, really well,” head coach Nils Schyllander said. “We came out very aggressive and didn’t leave anything out there.”
Oregon (10-2) earned some revenge after losing to Drake (6-5) last season in Iowa, 4-3. The Ducks appeared to have a heightened intensity throughout the match.
“We knew [Drake] was going to be good,” said Schyllander. “We had this match circled on our schedule for a while.”
For the ninth consecutive match, the Ducks got the early 1-0 lead by way of winning the doubles point. Simon Stevens and Akihiro Tanaka set the tone with a quick 6-2 victory over Ben Stride and Barny Thoroid,
Thomas Laurent and Cormac Clissold dug themselves out of a 4-2 deficit versus Vinny Gillaspie and Tom Hands to even the match at five sets apiece, but did not have to complete the comeback. The Ducks’ No. 1 pair of Jayson Amos and Armando Soemarno clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 win over Bayo Philips and Ben Wood.
“The loss against Drake last year was really tough,” said Laurent. “We took care of business.”
Singles treated the Ducks just as nicely, sweeping Drake to earn the resume-builder win.
However, all eyes were on Laurent, who was going for his 15th consecutive win, which would match the all-time Oregon record, set by Stevens (2015) and Robin Cambier (2012). It wasn’t be a cakewalk, either. His opponent, Drake’s Vinny Gillaspie, topped Laurent last season, 5-7, 6-1, 7-5.
As he did in their prior match, Laurent took the first set, 6-2. However, he wouldn’t flirt with danger this time around, winning the second set 6-3 to take the match for win No. 15 in a row.
“I lost to [Gillaspie] last year,” said Laurent. “I really wanted to beat this guy more than worrying about the streak.”
About a minute following Laurent’s win, Tanaka brought the Ducks to within one point of the win with his 6-1, 6-4 victory over Stride. Tanaka — now 9-2 on the season — continues to impress.
Freshman Ty Gentry clinched the match for the Ducks with his straight set victory over Philips, 6-2, 6-4. Stevens, who defeated Philips last season, took care of Calum Macgoech, 6-1, 7-5, to give Oregon its fifth point of the match. For good measure, Clissold topped Hands (7-5, 6-3) and Amos came back on court No. 3 to defeat Thoroid (5-7, 6-0, 1-0 (10-7)) to give Oregon the sweep.
Up next: Oregon has a week off before traveling to Santa Barbara to face the Gauchos on March 5.
Oregon vs Drake, 2/26/17
Student Tennis Center
- Jayson Amos/Armando Soemarno def. Bayo Philips/Ben Wood, 6-4
- Thomas Laurent/Cormac Clissold vs. Vinny Gillaspie/Tom Hands, unfinished (5-5)
- Simon Stevens/Akihiro Tanaka def. Ben Stride/Barny Thoroid, 6-2
Oregon wins doubles point
- Laurent def. Gillaspie, 6-2, 6-3
- Stevens def. Calum Macgoech, 6-1, 7-5
- Tanaka def. Stride, 6-1, 6-4
- Amos def. Thoroid, 5-7, 6-0, 1-0 (10-7)
- Clissold def. Hands, 7-5, 6-3
- Gentry def. Philips, 6-2, 6-4
Oregon wins match, 7-0
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