After an energized performance just a day ago against Montana, Oregon got off to a sluggish start in doubles vs. San Diego.
While Paiton Wagner and Daniella Nasser made quick work of their match, winning 6-1, the other Ducks had no such success, dropping the matches 6-1 and 6-2, respectively.
However, despite the slow start, Oregon turned it on late, flipping a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 win, completing their second win in as many days.
“I told them not to let that doubles point define the rest of the match and that we could go out and turn it around,” head coach Courtney Nagle said. “Honestly, this is the first match this season where we’ve lost the doubles point and won the match.”
The Ducks responded to Nagle’s challenge. Although Taryn Fujimori lost her match 6-1, 6-0, every other duck earned a win in singles. The most impressive of these was Shweta Sangwan. Facing No. 62 Solymar Colling, Sangwan was fired up and it showed in her play as she took control for a 6-1, 6-3 win.
“When [Sangwan] has big moments, it energizes the whole place, you see it and when our energy is good, good things happen,” Nagle said. “...We talk a lot about playing with energy and how we bounce back from points that we lose and it makes a big difference in terms of how you turn things around or how you keep momentum going in your favor.”
The momentum was in Oregon’s favor as they turned the match on its head. Wagner was first, knocking off Maria-Paula Torres, 6-3, 6-2. Next came Sangwan, followed by Rifanty Kahfiani who finished out a strong weekend with a 6-0, 6-2 win.
“[Kahfiani’s] just playing her game,” Nagle said. “Honestly everyday she comes out, she focuses on getting better. She’ll typically have something written on her right hand and it’s just something she is focusing on that day... I think it’s making a big difference for her.”
Later, Daniela Nasser clinched the match, downing her opponent 7-5, 6-1. Freshman, Allison Mulville was last to finish giving the Ducks their fifth point in a hard fought 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win.
Nagle and her team now face a well-earned and somewhat needed break as they wait to host Idaho in their next match on March 1. Even though the break is long, the team isn’t concerned with being rusty when they do eventually face Idaho.
“We’ve had some long matches and given that we are a little bit short on players I think [the time off] is going to be to our benefit,” Nasser said. “Just a couple days of recovery just to make sure our bodies are 100% and that we will feel more fresh.”
One of these players is junior, and former five-star recruit, Julia Eshet who has yet to appear for the Ducks this year as she deals with an undisclosed injury. In 2017-18, Eshet was one of three Ducks with a team-high 18 singles wins, finishing her sophomore year 18-12 overall. The time off could prove beneficial for Eshet if she is able to start contributing to an Oregon team in prime position to rattle off several wins in their continued homestand.
“We are just taking that one day by day,” Nagle said. “We are happy that she’s back, she came out and practiced a couple days this week and so we’re just seeing where that takes us.”