For Oregon, when doubles succeeds, the whole team thrives

Armando Soemarno hits the ball during his doubles match. The No. 39 Oregon Ducks take on the Arizona Wildcats at the Oregon Student Tennis Center in Eugene, Ore. on April 1, 2016. (Adam Eberhardt/Emerald)

In doubles tennis matches, it’s all about balance.

While Oregon women’s head coach Alison Silverio looks for pairs that have different playing styles to even out the court, men’s head coach Nils Schyllander looks for doubles teams based on personality.

On the men’s team, few exemplify that chemistry better than the doubles pair of Jayson Amos and Armando Soemarno.

The doubles pairing is 15-2 overall this season, earning them the No.41 spot in the ITA doubles rankings. 

But they are not the only successful doubles team. Daan Maasland and his partner Simon Stevens hold a 20-6 overall doubles record.

The two find their success comes from a balance in personalities.

“He keeps me energetic and sometimes I calm him down a little bit,” Maasland said. “I think it works well.”

Though chemistry between doubles teammates is important, the energy and momentum that a doubles win brings to the rest of the match can define its outcome.

In an interview with Emerald reporter Jarrid Denney, Soemarno discussed the role a strong offense plays in adding energy to a match.

“We are very aggressive, and I think that’s our strength,” Soemarno said. “It’s very fun, actually. With defense, you’re just waiting for someone to miss. With offense, you’re making winners and it feels amazing to pump up the crowd.”

Just last weekend, the Ducks saw the other side of the street, suffering the outcome of what no doubles play can mean for the team.

The Ducks traveled to Southern California for their second to last road trip of the conference season last weekend. Due to predicted inclement weather, the teams played singles matches first to determine if doubles would even be necessary.

Unfortunately for Oregon, singles losses rendered doubles nonessential, and the Ducks took losses to both Stanford and Cal.

Before this weekend though, the Ducks hadn’t dropped a doubles match since January, and over those 15 matches, Oregon lost just three.

For the Ducks, when doubles teams take the first point of the match, the momentum is enough to propel them through the rest of singles. And though it’s just one point, the team camaraderie of doubles play brings a chemistry to the court.

“This fall we practiced every time together, and right now we know each other pretty well,” Stevens said, “and I think you can see on the court the chemistry.”

Follow Madison Layton on Twitter @MadisonLayton01

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