Ducks take care of Georgia State to improve to 3-0 on the season
Three matches in and three sweeps, zero sets lost in singles.
The 2018 season is just getting started, but one thing is clear. These Ducks are for real.
Oregon faced a valiant effort from Georgia State. In the end, though, the Ducks were just too much for the Panthers, coming away with a 4-0 win on Friday evening at the Student Tennis Center.
“We didn’t drop a set in any one of the six (singles) matches,” said head coach Nils Schyllander. “It was a very convincing 4-0 for me.”
Oregon took the doubles point to jump out to an early 1-0 lead. Armando Soemarno and Charles Roberts, playing in the No. 1 spot, improved to 3-0 as a pair in doubles with a 6-2 win over Andrei Andrukhou and Quentin Couland. Less than a minute later, the Ducks No. 2 pair of Cormac Clissold and Thomas Laurent clinched the doubles point with 6-2 win over Kevin Hugnh and Giles Hussey.
Schyllander and the Ducks have to like where they stand in doubles as they begin what hopes to be a successful 2018 campaign. Clissold and Laurent are entering their third season playing together, and stand just nine wins away from the program record for doubles wins. Soemarno and Roberts, in their first season together, have already built a strong connection in a short span. Schyllander hasn’t had any hesitation in putting Roberts, a freshman, into the No. 1 spot in doubles.
“He’s not scared,” Schyllander said. “It helps playing with Armando, who has a lot of experience from doubles. … They complement each other very well.”
While the Ducks seemingly have a strong balance of talent for doubles, there’s no doubt that Laurent is the man when it comes to singles. Ranked No. 6 in the country, the Frenchman didn’t waste any time in his match, putting the Ducks up 2-0 with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Andrukhou.
Laurent is entering his second full season in the No. 1 spot for the Ducks. With the success he has accumulated, Laurent embraces the target on his back.
“You can see it as an advantage, because most of the other players will overplay sometimes,” Laurent said.
The Ducks other freshman, Riki Oshima, put the Ducks up 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Sebastian Acuna. Oshima has hit the ground running to begin his Ducks career, improving to 3-0 in singles play.
Simon Stevens clinched the match for the Ducks, taking down Quentin Couland 6-4, 6-4.
It’s an impressive start to the season for Oregon, which has yet to drop a single set in the 18 combined singles matches they have played this season. They know there’s a lot of work left to reach the goals they have set out, but make no mistake about it; the Ducks are a confident bunch moving forward.
“Everyone has the mindset of focusing on every point,” Laurent said. “We’re taking it match by match. We’re far from where we want to be.”
Follow Cole Kundich on Twitter @ckundich
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