Oregon’s three-match winning streak came to a close on Sunday, as No. 17 Michigan defeated the Ducks, 5-2. The Ducks fought back at every turn, with Ricki Oshima and Jesper Klov-Nilsson battling back after losing their opening sets to win.
“It was fun, regardless of win or loss I think the team grew,” Ty Gentry said. “We feel like we took a step forward even if we lost in the overall store.
In doubles play, No. 8 Joshua Charlton and Gentry played No. 5 Andrew Fenty and Mattias Siimar in a marquee matchup. Charlton and Gentry started down 0-4 early in the match before going on a rally, but they still fell 6-4. Charles Roberts and Luke Vandecasteele started hot, but they also lost to Ondrej Styler and Connor Johnston 6-3. The match between Riki Oshima and Emmanuel Coste and Kristofer Siimar and Harrison Brown was unfinished.
Oregon started down in most sets to kick off singles play. Coste lost No. 94 Styler in two quick sets 6-4, 6-1. After a solid start for freshman Vandecasteele, he ultimately lost in two sets as well, losing to Nick Beaty 7-5, 6-3. Gentry got down early as well, losing his first set 6-3 but played a bitter second set, falling 7-6.
But the Ducks earned some quality singles victories, too. Oshima lost his opening set to Brown 6-1. But he came back winning his next two sets 6-4, 6-4, providing the Ducks a much-needed boost. Klov-Nilsson also lost his first set 6-2. But like Oshima, he defeated Kristofer Siimar in three sets.
“It tells me that they really care,” head coach Nils Schyllander said. “They’re tennis players, they want to win no matter what. That's our culture right now. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.”
The last match to wrap up was an intense battle between No. 14 Charlton and No. 78 Fenty. As the rest of the courts cleared out, all eyes were on these two. Fenty won the first set 6-4. But the next two were slugfests with Charlton coming out on top 7-6 to force a third set. In the final set, Fenty got the best of Gentry, winning 7-6.
“Fenty, that’s a pro player level, for him to go down to a tiebreaker in the third, I think its two great players going head to head,” Schyllander said.
Although it was a disappointing team loss for Oregon, the team showed that they can compete with elite teams. The Ducks will take to the road to take on Georgia Tech in College Station, Texas, on Saturday.