Oregon women’s tennis breaks three-match losing streak with 4-0 win over Arizona
After a rough weekend in Los Angeles, the No. 22 Oregon women’s tennis team unleashed its frustration on the visiting Arizona Wildcats, winning 4-0.
“It felt good,” junior Daniela Nasser said. “It feels good being back home. It just feels good getting the win after a couple of tough losses recently.”
The Ducks started their match off differently than those two losses in Southern California, taking the doubles point.
“It’s a great way to start off momentum and to get one point on the board,” assistant coach Elizabeth Lumpkin Robinson said. “We also realize that it’s one point and the match is not over in any way. We wanted to remind the team that after the doubles point.”
Although only three matches in singles play warranted a result, all six Ducks performed well, with only one dropping a set.
“We were active with our feet and we were proactive with our game plans and game style,” Lumpkin Robinson said. “That’s the biggest thing that I saw out here all the way from first point of doubles to the end of singles. We were in that same mindset throughout the entire time.”
Right before singles play got underway, head coach Alison Silverio and Lumpkin Robinson made a change, switching Rifanty Kahfiani for Paiton Wagner at the six spot.
“This was a great opportunity to give her [Kahfiani] some more match experience this year,” Lumpkin Robinson said. “It’s just great to see that she came out and was playing very free and was ready to be aggressive the whole time.”
Kahfiani might have had the most dominant day of her career, dropping only one game. She first won her doubles pairing with Alyssa Tobita 6-0 and then her singles match 6-0, 6-1 over Sophia Thomas.
“Mentally, I was locked in,” Kahfiani said. “It was real good.”
Kahfiani’s job was not finished, however. She began to journal about her match while cheering on the other five Ducks that were still in play.
“I just wrote down, ‘Be at the present; be aggressive; keep attacking,’” Kahfiani said. “All positive sentences so I’m not being negative. So every time I sit down, for example, being negative, ‘Oh my God. I lost this game.’ I open that book and I keep track like okay, ‘we got this.’”
With this this win, the Ducks break their three-match losing streak. Despite losing to three conference opponents, confidence has not wavered.
“I think as long as we come out with the right mindset, we can take any team,” Nasser said. “It is just important to carry the same mindset we have when we’re home, to away matches. [We] just need to continue to build off of today.”
Nasser closed out the victory for the Ducks, taking down Marie Van Aelst 6-1, 6-3 as well.
“I was just trying to play more aggressively today and just going for my shots more,” Nasser said. “It made a big difference. The more aggressive I played, the more mistakes she gave me. That was the big difference today.”
Alyssa Tobita also got a 6-1, 6-3 win over Devin Chypyha after moving down to the second position.
Oregon will continue its home stand, hosting No. 35 Arizona State Sunday at 11 a.m.
Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack
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