No. 36 Oregon men’s tennis clinches four-seed in Pac-12 Championships with upset win over No. 31 Cal
The No. 36 Oregon men’s tennis team split its Bay Area roadtrip with a high-quality 4-2 win over No. 31 Cal on Saturday. The win is the Ducks’ first ever win over Cal.
— Oregon Men's Tennis (@OregonMTennis) April 22, 2018
The win puts the Ducks at 16-8 overall and 4-4 in Pac-12 play. After losing four straight matches in early March, the Ducks won seven of their last nine to close out the season.
Oregon was down early, dropping the doubles point for the second consecutive match. Charles Roberts and Armando Soemarno lost their match to Ben Draper and Dominic Barretto 6-1, which gave Cal the advantage. Can Kaya and Jack Molloy then clinched the point for the Golden Bears with a 6-3 over Ty Gentry and Simon Stevens.
The deficit then extended to two, after Molloy downed Akihiro Tanaka 6-1, 6-1 for the first point of singles play.
Despite being down 2-0, the veteran Ducks squad wasn’t shaken, with five of the six Ducks taking their first set. Stevens returned to the lineup after being out of singles play yesterday against Stanford. The senior leader was back at No. 2 with everyone else sliding down one position. Stevens played well in his return to the court, defeating J.T. Nishimura 6-3, 6-3.
Gentry tied the match up at two, defeating Draper 6-2, 7-6(2). Cormac Clissold then downed Paul Barretto 6-3, 6-4 to put the Ducks one win away from victory.
Luckily, the two remaining Ducks had plenty of experience in that field. No. 24 Thomas Laurent, who clinched the match against Utah last week, and Riki Oshima, who has clinched multiple matches in his freshman season, were in a race to see who would get the result.
Laurent wound up victorious in both his match and the race, defeating No. 58 Billy Griffith 7-6(2), 7-5.
This win was a huge result for the Ducks as it not only vaults them ahead of Cal in the Pac-12 standings, but puts them in fourth place, which warrants a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Championships.
The tournament starts Wednesday, April 25 in Ojai, California. Seeding has yet to be finalized, but Oregon defeated all the lower seeds except Arizona State this season.
Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack
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