Oregon women’s tennis defeats Colorado 4-0 behind new “Prove it” mentality
No. 30 Oregon women’s tennis returned to Eugene with a plan to not only sweep the weekend, but dominate the competition in all aspects.
“Our mission today was to send a message and destroy,” head coach Alison Silverio said. “Toughness is what we’ve got to be about at this point.”
The Ducks accomplished their goals today, defeating Colorado 4-0 with stellar performances by all seven Oregon participants.
“Prove it,” Silverio said. “That’s been something we have been talking a lot about this year. You saw it not only in the attitudes but also in the play today.”
Prove it they did as every first set went Oregon’s way in singles play, creating a race to see who would get results first.
“We were just there for each other,” junior Daniela Nasser said. “We just had fun today. I think it showed through all our matches. It’s interesting playing clinch. … I think that pushes us to take every point seriously.”
Rifanty Kahfiani was the first to finish, winning her match over Ilana Oleynik 6-1, 6-2. A staple of doubles play, Kahfiani has seen more action in singles play as of late. Silverio credits the sophomore’s determination and grit in both practice and matches.
“She’s been completely focused this last month,” Silverio said. “She’s someone that has been pushing the lineup the whole year and now she has been capitalizing on her opportunities. Not surprised again why she performed the way she did today.”
Kahfiani also had a great doubles match with partner Alyssa Tobita. The No. 81 pair defeated Jeannez Daniel and Oleynik 6-0 to secure the doubles point. With Senior Day this Sunday, Friday’s win was the second to last time the two will pair at home.
“It’s sad, but we’ll do our best,” Kahfiani said. “She’s great. I love her.”
The other point in doubles came from the freshmen duo of Julia Lilien and Paiton Wagner. They won their match 6-1 over Kyra Wojcik and Linda Huang. The two have been paired four matches in a row and now sit at 3-2 on the season as the doubles lineup begins to finalize before Pac-12s.
Lilien also got the win in singles play, clinching the match for the Ducks with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Daniel. Lilien got valuable experience in the No. 2 position last week in the Bay Area and performed well. Although she moved back to the three position today, seeing her back in the two seems likely next season.
“The sky’s the limit for her,” Silverio said. “She has abilities and athleticism that are still untapped. She is one that is willing to do the extra work. … She is going to be able to keep rising.”
Nasser also grabbed a result. The junior showed a lot of energy in her 6-2, 6-1 win over Wojcik.
The Ducks return to action this Sunday at 11 a.m. for Tobita and Nia Rose’s Senior Day. They look to finish off the Pac-12 strong against Utah.
“Every weekend is learning a lesson and improving on it from match to match,” Silverio said. “Today was a step in the right direction for our program.”
Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack
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