SportsWomen's Tennis

Oregon downs shorthanded Arizona State 4-0

The No. 22 Oregon women’s tennis team (12-6, 3-3) was up before the match even started, downing a shorthanded No. 35 Arizona State squad 4-0 Sunday in commanding fashion.

ASU only had five healthy players, which gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead with a walkover at the six position in singles.

Oregon built on its lead by taking the doubles point in odd fashion.

With only two courts of doubles due to the walkover on court 3, Oregon just needed to win one of the two matches.

Alyssa Tobita and Rifanty Kahfiani continued their dominant weekend, defeating the No. 35 doubles pair of Tereza Kolarova and Savannah Slaysman 6-3, which secured the doubles point.

After doubles play, head coach Alison Silverio chose to rest Julia Eshet and move Daniela Nasser to the fourth position and insert Paiton Wagner in the fifth. This move was an easy one for the Ducks thanks to the energy Wagner creates on the court.

“Paiton has been doing a phenomenal job with her mindset everyday in practice,” Silverio said. “She’s very energetic, she’s passionate, there is a lot of fire and that permeates throughout the whole team. It’s contagious.”

After Kahfiani was switched-in late on Friday and was first to victory for the Ducks, Wagner repeated that result. Wagner dominated Kolarova, winning 6-3, 6-2, putting the Ducks one win away from a team victory.

“I was really excited that I was playing,” Wagner said. “It really doesn’t matter to me what spot I am playing in. I know that all points count the same. I came out ready to fight and give it my all, and I left it all out on the court today.”

With the teams playing clinch point, Wagner’s victory created a race between Tobita, Julia Lilien and Daniela Nasser to finish first. With all three one game away from victory, Tobita won the race with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Ilze Hattingh.

Nasser and Lilien were both a little disappointed they didn’t get victories, as Nasser was one point away from victory and Lilien was two, but they were more happy that the team got the win.

“It’s been rough the past couple of weeks,” Tobita said. “I think it’s good that we’re all racing to win. That just shows that our team is right there and we are coming after it.”

This marks win number 73 for Tobita, tying for third all-time with 2013 graduate Julia Metzger.

“It’s kinda cool,” Tobita said. “I came into the program with coach Alison. Before that, we were bottom of the Pac-12 and didn’t know what to expect. Now to be here, and play at this high of level, it’s kinda unreal.”

Tobita was part of Silverio’s first freshman class, making this an enjoyable victory for both.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Silverio said. “She is one of our most reliable players. She is one of our most consistent players. All the credit to her for the work and the preparation that she puts into every match.”

Following the 2-0 weekend, the Ducks will have some time off before traveling to the Bay Area for matches against No. 45 California on April 6, and No. 26 Stanford on April 8.

Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack

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Maverick Pallack

Maverick Pallack

Maverick is an associate sports editor and reporter covering football, baseball, softball, track and field, women's tennis and men's tennis. You can follow him on Twitter @mavpallack or contact him at [email protected]