Oregon women’s tennis falls to Minnesota in home opener, 4-3

The Oregon women’s tennis team started the morning out with a strong doubles win, but slips in singles play led to the Ducks’ (1-1) loss to the No. 72 Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-2) at the Student Tennis Center on Saturday.

The No. 1 doubles team of Alyssa Tobita and Nia Rose started the morning off with a 6-2 win on court one over Minnesota’s Tereza Brichacova and Mahvish Safdar. Oregon took home the point on court two when Nicole Long and Marlou Kluiving scrapped out a 6-4 victory against Minnesota’s Paula Rincon-Otero and Julia Courter.

Minnesota came back strong in singles play, earning three quick wins to take home the day. Both Rose and Long lost their matches, 6-2 and 6-1 one courts one and two (respectively).

The Golden Gophers clinched the point when Oregon’s Lina Akesson lost to Aria Lambert 6-2, 6-2, sealing Minnesota’s win.

Despite the Gopher’s assured win, the Ducks continued to fight for individual wins. Tobitha gained her second singles win of the season when she managed a 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6) win at No. 3 singles to take the overall match (4-2). Kluiving chalked up another win for the Ducks, winning 6-3, 7-5 to give Oregon just their second singles win for the day.

Head coach Alison Silverio said that the Ducks have been preparing all week for this home match, and was happy with Oregon’s performance at doubles.

“But we all know its about the finish, and Minnesota came out strong in singles,” Silverio said. “And they took it to us today in four of the spots.”

Despite Oregon’s overall loss, coach Silverio was impressed with the tenacity and the drive displayed by the Ducks towards the end of singles play.

“They really fought their way back into the match and they got those victories for our team today,” Silverio said.

Oregon will be at home again next week, playing host to Oklahoma on Sunday, Feb. 8 at noon at the Student Tennis Center.

Follow Sarah Scrivens on Twitter @sarahescrivens

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