Ducks end fall season with stellar performances at Gopher Invitational and ITA National Championships
Oregon closed out its fall season this weekend with two championship titles at the Gopher Invitational and a semifinal appearance at the 2017 Oracle ITA Fall National Championships.
Simon Stevens, Akihiro Tanaka, Ethan Young-Smith, Ty Gentry and Armando Soemarno made the trip to Minnesota for the Gopher Invitational, as Thomas Laurent and Cormac Clissold remained on the west coast to compete in the ITA Fall Nationals in Southern California.
The Gopher Invitational was broken into multiple brackets. On Sunday, the doubles pairs of Stevens and Gentry and Tanaka and Young-Smith each took home a bracket title.
“Overall it was a solid weekend,” Oregon associate head coach Jonas Piibor said of the Ducks’ performance in the Gopher Invitational. “There was a lot of tennis, which is exactly what we want this time of year. We still have a lot of things to improve on before we start the dual season in January, but we are moving in the right direction.”
The Ducks opened the invitational on Friday, winning seven of their eight matches. The team’s only loss of the weekend came in the second round of doubles play for Tanaka and Young-Smith against Utah’s duo of Santiago Sierra and Chase Stoner, 6-3.
Oregon won all 10 of its matches on Saturday, as Stevens and Gentry earned their way to the finals with a win over Dartmouth’s Roko Glasnovic and David Horneffer in doubles, 6-3. Tanaka and Young-Smith defeated Denver’s Wyatt Lovera and Ignatius Castellino in doubles, 6-1, to also advance to Sunday’s finals.
On the other side of the country, Laurent entered the ITA Fall Nationals as the No. 16 seed. He began the tournament on Wednesday and defeated No. 9 Will Bushamuka of Kentucky in singles, 5-7, 6-4, 6-0.
Laurent took on Georgia Gwinnett’s Kevin Konfederak in the singles quarterfinal match. Laurent dropped the first set but won the second to force a deciding third which he won, 7-6 (8-6).
“It’s hard to put it into words, that was one of the best quality tennis matches I’ve seen at the collegiate level,” head coach Nils Schyllander said. “It’s a huge accomplishment for Thomas.”
Laurent was unable to build on that success, though, falling to No. 3 Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest of 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals.
He joined Clissold in doubles play as the duo lost against the tournament’s second-seed of Will Little and Johannes Schretter of Baylor on Wednesday, 6-4, 6-2, placing them in the doubles consolation round.
In the doubles consolation bracket, Laurent and Clissold won Thursday and again on Saturday against the 55th-ranked pair of Matic Spec and Felix Corwin of Minnesota, 1-6, 7-6 (5), 10-8. The duo lost in Sunday’s finals against Florida’s Oliver Crawford and Chase Perez-Blanco in 6-2,6-3.
With the fall season now finished, Oregon will not return to the court until preparation for the spring season starts in January.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni
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