After a close 3-4 loss at the hands of Illinois the Ducks returned home, dispatching Montana 4-1.
Shweta Sangwan and Rifanty Kahfiani brought the energy early, defeating Bianca Bostrom and Julia Ronney 6-1, while Paiton Wagner and Daniela Nasser also made quick work, winning 6-0 to clinch the doubles point.
From there it was smooth sailing as Kahfiani again dominated, this time in singles 6-0, 6-1. Allison Mulville followed with an impressive 6-0, 6-1 win. After Montana’s Alex Walker took down Taryn Fujimori, Sangwan clinched 6-4, 6-2, helping the ducks stay undefeated at home.
For the Ducks, last weekend’s match was a learning moment. Despite leaving Illinois with a loss, it brought tight match experience, something coach Courtney Nagle has preached the importance of.
“We actually referenced the ITA National Indoor Tournament and how the team that won that title was very battle tested,” Nagle said. “For us to have a close match like that early on where we get tested, just makes us stronger in the future.”
While the match against Montana provided no such test, the team did seem to respond well, coming out with energy early before clinching. Now undefeated in doubles, Sangwan and Kahfiani hold the key to Oregon’s success, as their energy and aggressiveness has become contagious at times.
“Those guys always come out with a lot of energy,” Nagle said. “If you watch them you see there’s a lot of excitement in a lot of the points that they play. When they have big points or big putaways — it really just lights a fire on every court.”
For the duo, the doubles point is useful in setting up a successful singles match. They use their momentum to carry them throughout.
“It makes me feel super confident,” Sangwan said. “In doubles, if we are playing really well, it’s going to translate to singles. That’s something that we have really been taught in the past few years.”
This match kicked off a six match homestand for the Ducks, leaving them plenty of time to train and get healthy before Pac-12 season. While Oregon has struggled away from Eugene, its success at home so far this year makes this next stretch crucial if they hope to compete for a Pac-12 title.
“The home crowd feels great,” Sangwan said. “It’s a preparation thing, you know your coming in at [a certain] time and everything is set up… We want to continue doing well, six matches at home, if we can win all of them that would be great.”
Despite a slow start, Daniela Nasser picked it up as her match ended unfinished at 6-3, 4-2. Wagner played a hard fought match with Nathalie Joanlanne, ultimately ending 6-4, 5-2, and Fujimori showed flashes of improvement in a 3-6, 3-6 defeat.
“If you saw her match today you could see there’s been a lot of improvement and she’s very close in every game,” Nagle said. “Lot of deuce points, she’s attacking, using her down the line forehand and getting opportunities.”
The Ducks now face San Diego tomorrow at 11 a.m. as they look to continue their undefeated play at home.