Oregon men’s tennis entered Pac-12 season with a singular loss and a top 20 national ranking. Only matches later though, they now stand at 13-5 with a 1-3 conference record and risk falling out of the top 50.
After losing 4-0 to Arizona State, the No. 42 Ducks closed out their road trip Sunday afternoon at No. 29 Arizona where they fell 4-1, dropping their fourth consecutive match and third straight match without standout Thomas Laurent.
Oregon’s sole point came in doubles play. Armando Soemarno and Ethan Young-Smith started it off by taking a 6-4 win on court three. Next, Joshua Charlton and Ty Gentry battled back from a 4-2 hole to clinch 6-4, leaving Charles Roberts and Ricki Oshima’s match unfinished as they trailed 6-5.
From there, it was downhill as Oregon went winless for the remainder of the afternoon as Laurent’s presence was sorely missed. Emmanuel Coste (6-3, 6-1), Gentry (6-2, 6-2) and Roberts (6-0, 6-4)dropped their matches.
Facing an uphill battle, the Ducks looked to Oshima, Charlton, and Young-Smith. Oshima hung in late, winning five games in a row to force a third set. Meanwhile, Charlton and Young-Smith also pushed their matches to a final set.
Oshima eventually succumbed 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 to hand Arizona the 4-1 victory. Charlton (6-2, 4-6, 4-5) and Young-Smith’s (7-5, 2-6, 5-4) matches were left unfinished.
After a 13-1 start to the year, expectations were sky high for the highly-talented Ducks. Mere matches later, however, their season is now plagued with uncertainty as they look to climb back through the ranks of a deep, unrelenting Pac-12 conference.
Oregon now returns home for the week as they look to their upcoming California road trip where they will face UCLA and USC in back to back days.