Laurent breaks Oregon record with 16th consecutive win to help Ducks beat UCSB
Thomas Laurent stands alone.
The sophomore won his 16th consecutive singles match — a new Oregon record — to help the Ducks (11-2) come back to defeat UC-Santa Barbara 4-3 in their first outdoor match of the 2017 season on Sunday.
Though all eyes were on the No. 36-ranked Laurent’s quest for history, the Ducks fell behind 1-0 after not winning the doubles point for the first time in 10 matches.
The Ducks’ No. 1 pair of Jayson Amos and Armando Soemarno lost 6-3 to the Gauchos. Simon Stevens and Akihiro Tanaka would drop their match 6-1 to UCSB to allow the home team to take the opening point.
Heading into singles, the Ducks knew they needed to win four out of six matches to pick up the victory.
The road to victory became even more difficult, as Stevens would not be able to pull out the victory on court No. 2, losing in straight sets to Morgan Mays, 7-5, 6-1. The only path to a win for the Ducks was to win four out of their remaining five matches.
Laurent — as he has done all season — continued to roll with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Nicolas Moreno to get the Ducks on the board. His 16th straight singles win breaks the mark previously held by Simon Stevens and Robin Cambier. Laurent remains perfect while playing in the No. 1 spot.
Tanaka, playing again at the No. 3 spot, evened the match at 2-2 with a 6-3, 7-6 win.
Cormac Clissold gave the Ducks their first lead of the match when he took down Anders Holm in three sets, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Playing in the No. 6 spot, Ethan Young-Smith had a chance to clinch the win for the Ducks. He split the first two sets against UCSB before dropping the third, losing 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Tied at 3-3, the match came down to Amos against UCSB’s Cody Rakela. The Oregon senior won, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5, to give the Ducks the victory. With the win, Amos is now at 87 career singles wins, three away from the program record of 90.
The Ducks will have 11 days off before competing in the SP Invite on March 16-18 in San Diego before Pac-12 play begins later this month.
Follow Cole Kundich on Twitter @ckundich
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