Oregon defeats UCLA for the first time in program history to progress to Pac-12 semifinal
After the Oregon women’s tennis team received a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Championships thanks to their fifth seed, they squeaked past No.4 UCLA to nail a victory of 4-3, earning a berth in the semifinal.
It marked the the first time the Ducks have downed the Bruins in program history. The last time UCLA played Oregon, the Ducks were beaten soundly 4-1.
This time, the storyline was reversed as the Ducks took the doubles point. The duo of Marlou Kluiving and Nia Rose were the first victors of the day with a score of 6-1. Although Shweta Sangwan and Julia Eshet were bested 6-3, the pair of Alyssa Tobita and Rifanty Kahfiani sealed the doubles victory on their court in 6-3.
The Bruins, however, threw a wrench into the works as they proceeded to take three consecutive victories in the singles over Tobita, Rose and Kluiving. Sangwan and Eshet followed up with victories on their courts to tie the score, which meant it all boiled down to Daniella Nasser’s court to determine who would progress to the semifinal.
After losing the first set, Nasser rallied in the final two sets to score narrow victories over her opponent (4-6, 6-4, 6-5) and sealed the deal by just a point.
“My team brought the energy and was loud when it came down to the last games at the end,” Nasser said in a news release. “It energized me, and reminded me that I had to do it for them. We have prepared all season, and it translated on the court today for everyone. We are excited to get after it tomorrow.”
Oregon will face No. 1 Stanford on Friday in the championship semifinal at 2 p.m. The Cardinal has remained unbeaten in the conference throughout the regular season. If the Ducks take down Stanford, which would be another first for the program, they will face either No. 6 USC or No. 2 California for the Pac-12 title.
Follow Romaine Soh on Twitter @mainetainpls
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