After losing 4-1 to the No. 13 UCLA Bruins on Friday, the No. 48 Oregon men's tennis team looked to bring their five match losing streak to an end on Saturday afternoon as they faced off against No. 11 USC in the second stint of their California road trip.
Unfortunately for the Ducks they will return home winless after falling 4-0 and dropping to 1-5 in conference play.
Much like the previous matches, Oregon got off to a slow start in doubles, dropping matches on courts two and three, as senior Thomas Laurent was again sidelined.
Freshman Evan Felcher, who has seen play time few and far between in his first year, was inserted into the sixth spot in singles as Oregon continues to remedy the lineup without its highest ranked singles player in Laurent.
Felcher’s inexperience was clear as he was quickly defeated 6-1, 6-0. In Laurent’s wake, Emmanuel Coste stepped into the No. 1 spot but also struggled in a 6-1, 6-1 loss.
Facing a 3-0 deficit, the other Ducks did their best to prolong the match. Charles Roberts hung in a tightly contested 6-4, 6-4 match but ultimately fell to Tanner Smith, giving USC their fourth and final point.
As for the others, Ty Gentry’s match against Daniel Cukierman was left unfinished 4-6, 2-5 and Riki Oshima’s at 3-6, 5-2. Lastly, freshman Joshua Charlton, who has been one of the lone bright spots for a struggling Oregon team, was able to keep his perfect 15-0 record in dual play as his match was left unfinished at 3-6, 6-4, 0-1.
The Ducks have a stellar 10-1 home record, but after back-to-back losses this weekend, their road record dropped to a measly 2-5. With only two matches remaining on the season, both of them being in Eugene, it is hard not to think that the struggles playing away from home is what has ultimately been this teams downfall late in the year.
With Cal and Stanford left on the schedule, the Ducks now look to finish strong and perhaps get their Pac-12 record to a more respectable 3-5 before the conference tournament.