After three years with the Ducks, Nicole Long played her final match Friday at the Pac-12 championship, but after graduation, the senior said that tennis will remain in her future.
Long was a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention at Oregon, and with 22 wins in a season, she tied for the ninth in most victories in a singles season.
While she won’t be playing competitively anymore, Long wants to give back to women’s tennis by teaching younger generations about the game.
“I’d like to coach juniors at least back home at the club in Dallas,” Long said.
In the meantime, Long is set to graduate in June. After graduation, the accounting major already has a job lined up in October in San Jose at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network.
Long said she is excited to begin her new job, but leaving Oregon is going to be tough.
“It’s a little bittersweet,” Long said. “I’m going to miss this place-it’s home.”
Long first called Oregon home when she transferred here from Oklahoma in 2012. During her first year as a Duck, her dual record was 15-8, and she won 17 straight singles matches. On the double side of the season, Long and her partner Patricia Skowronski finished with a season record of 16-10, seven of their wins in straight matches.
Long’s junior season proved to be her best when she finished 13-9 in singles play, the most wins on the team. She beat and led ranked players that year, including a victory over the No. 82 singles player from Washington State and led in her match over No. 47 ranked Taylor Davidson from Stanford. Her singles victories during her junior year also lead to her being named MVP for the Ducks.
During her senior season with the Ducks, Long began with a bang when she went 8-0 in singles play between Feb. 13 and March 14. Then on April 12, Long made it into the ranks at the No. 123 spot as she won her singles match over Arizona’s Laura Oldham 6-4, 6-2.
At the end of the season, Long won both of her singles matches before the Pac-12 Championships: one over Miki Kobayashi from Washington 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 and the other over Sophie Vickers from the University of Idaho 6-0, 6-2.
After the final in-season match, head coach Alison Silverio talked about Long’s singles performance and her final game as a senior.
“Certainly in the past few matches she has stepped up in a big way,” Silverio said. “Today just put a nice exclamation point on that for her, all that hard work that’s she’s put in.”
Long made it to the Pac-12 tournament in both singles and doubles play, but fell in the first round after losses in singles to Jennifer Brady of UCLA and in doubles to Tereza Bekerova and Margo Pletcher of Utah.
Despite the loss, Long was once again named a Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention and contributed to the season with the most conference wins for the Ducks in over a decade.
Silverio was proud of her senior for all she accomplished this year.
“She really, this whole season, focused on the preparation and putting in some extra work,” Silverio said.
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