Oregon’s first road trip of the season at the ITA Kick-Off at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley, California, out-tested the team against its highest level of competition yet. Falling to both No. 12 Stanford and No. 19 California, Oregon (3-2) ended its three-match sweep streak and lost the team’s chance at an automatic entry to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
On Sunday afternoon, the Ducks opened the ITA Kick-off with 4-0 loss to the Cardinal (3-0) and lost 4-3 on Monday against the Golden Bears (2-1) .
Against Stanford, Duck duo Simon Stevens and Ty Gentry earned the first win of the day, defeating Stanford’s Eric Fomba and David Wilczynski in the No. 3 doubles spot, 6-1— Oregon’s only win in the match.
But, the Cardinal clinched the doubles point with a win at the No. 1 spot, 6-3, and at the No. 2 spot, 6-2.
In singles play, Stanford created a three-point lead over Oregon as all three matches found their way into tiebreaker sets.
In the No. 1 spot, Thomas Laurent faced No. 101 nationally-ranked Cardinal Tom Fawcett. Laurent took the first set 6-3, but the score flipped in the second with Fawcett’s 6-3 win pushing the match into a tiebreaker.
Spots No. 5 and No. 6 were also pushed into tiebreakers. Cormac Clissold battled Stanford’s Michael Genender in spot No. 5 and in spot No. 6 Gentry faced Stanford’s Eric Fomba.
All three tiebreakers would be left unfinished when Stanford found victory in the No. 4 spot over Oregon freshman Riki Oshima.
Oshima forced the first set into a tiebreaker but fell in the opening set and the second with a final match score of 7-6(6), 6-2, giving the Cardinal the 4-0 match win.
On Monday afternoon the Ducks would see even more tiebreakers in the consolation bracket against No. 19 Cal. Oregon got close to defeating the Bears after claiming the early lead with the doubles point, but ultimately lost the match after dropping four of the six singles sets.
In doubles, Oregon came out victorious, earning the first point thanks to winning the No. 2 spot with the duo of Armando Soemarno and Charles Roberts, along with another win from Stevens and Gentry in the No. 3 spot. Both pairs won 6-4. Stevens and Gentry’s win marks a team-high 12-1 doubles record and the pair’s ninth straight doubles victory.
Cal was fast to get back on the board with Paul Barretto’s two-set win over Oshima in singles play.
The remaining five singles matches would all fall to tiebreaker sets.
Laurent, the nation’s No. 6 player, fell to Cal’s Billy Griffith in the No. 1 singles spot, 2-6, 6-1, 6-0, giving Cal their first lead on the board of 2-1.
Gentry got the Ducks back on track by winning his set’s tiebreaker in the No. 6 spot, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
After Stevens dropped his match at the No. 2 spot, 3-6, 6-4, 2-6, Clissold tied the score for the final time with a win over Cal’s Jacob Brumm in the No. 5 spot, 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(4).
The deciding match came down to Oregon senior Akihiro Tanaka as he battled against Jack Molloy in the No. 3 spot. Molloy took the first set 6-3, but Tanaka rallied and won the second in 5-7. Molloy’s comeback of 6-4 in the tiebreaker gave Cal the match win over the Ducks.
Oregon will return to Eugene with its next match-up against the Pepperdine Waves on Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni