Colorado was at an early disadvantage having to play a team in green on Saint Patrick’s Day.
The Buffs traveled to Eugene looking for their first conference win. After getting throttled 0-5 by No. 47 Oregon (9-4, 2-1 Pac-12) on Friday, they’re still searching for Pac-12 success as they fall to 8-6 and 0-3 in conference play.
The Ducks were coming off a 12-day hiatus and looked more than prepared to take down Colorado in their first home match of the season.
Early dominance by Myah Petchey and Karin Young in doubles play set Oregon up to take a quick lead. Petchey and Young teamed up for a 6-0 win over Colorado’s Ellen Puzak and Betina Tokac to put the Ducks up 1-0 in doubles play.
An uncharacteristic 4-6 loss from Jo-Yee Chan and Ares Teixido Garcia – who entered Friday undefeated as a duo – to Elys Ventura and Mila Stanojevic evened the score and put the pressure on Sophie Luescher and Uxia Martinez Moral to seal the doubles point for Oregon.
Despite dropping her first doubles match of her collegiate career, Chan remained confident in Oregon’s doubles play. Her confidence paid off as the Ducks were able to use Luescher and Martinez Moral’s 6-3 win over Antonia Balzert and Aya El Sayed to clinch the doubles point and build an early 1-0 lead.
“It shows our resilience and how we can bounce back,” Chan said. “As a team we believe in each other and we know we can come back from anything.”
Chan certainly bounced back in her singles play. Her dominant win over Carri Hayes in the No. 6 spot was the first match to finish and cushioned the Ducks’ lead to 2-0. She defeated Hayes 6-1 and 6-2 in their two sets.
“I always think it’s a new set and anything can happen,” Chan said when asked about her mindset after a dominating first set. “I just have to stay locked in and do what I do best.”
The rest of the team did what they do best: rack up singles wins. Teixido Garcia, Martinez Moral and Petchey all were victorious in their singles matches to set up Oregon’s first shutout win of conference play and its second shutout win overall.
Teixido Garcia improved to 8-4 in singles play with her 2-0 win over Ventura in the No. 2 spot. Her 6-3 and 6-2 set wins put Oregon ahead 3-0 and one point away from its fourth straight win over Colorado.
Martinez Moral continued her hot season in the No. 5 spot as she beat El Sayed 2-0 with a pair of 6-4 wins. Martinez Moral’s match finished third, clinched the win for the Ducks and moved her record to 10-2 in 2023. Martinez Moral is the first on the team to hit the double-digit win mark.
Petchey on the other hand, tallied one in the win column for the first time this season. After a slow start to the season and several unfinished matches, she defeated Stanojevic 6-1 and 6-4 in the No. 3 spot to give the Ducks their fifth and final point.
“[Petchey’s] come tremendously far,” Oregon coach Courtney Nagle said. “I’m so proud of the way she’s been consistently competing better and better and to see her get a win today was awesome. She’s been playing better and better each week so I’m excited for what’s to come.”
If Petchey can get hot with most of the Pac-12 still ahead on the schedule, she’s proven she can be a major asset to a young Ducks team looking to shake up the conference.
Luescher and Young’s sets were both left unfinished on Friday. They both lost their first sets to Balzert and Tokac respectively, but Young rallied to take the second set 6-1 and Luescher was leading 3-2 in her second set when the match was called.
“It was great for [Luescher and Young] to bounce back,” Nagle said. “It shows a lot of resilience. I was really happy that Karin was able to get that second set and Sophie’s competitiveness was very high.”
The Ducks have now won seven of their last nine and will host No. 50 Utah (9-5, 1-1 Pac-12) on Sunday at 11 a.m. with a chance for a weekend conference sweep.