DURHAM, N.C. — Oregon recorded its first NCAA women's tennis tournament victory in 14 years Friday when the Ducks downed Tennessee, 4-2, in a first-round match.
Oregon, which is ranked No. 33, was down 1-0 after losing the doubles point but staged a comeback in singles play against the No. 38 Vols, who end their season 18-12.
"The pressure moments we experienced today are what we have prepared for all season," coach Alison Silverio said in a release. "We were able to handle those situations with poise and toughness."
Oregon (16-9) picked up victories from Shweta Sangwenat at No. 2 singles, Julia Lilen at No. 3, Daniela Nasser at No. 4 and Julia Eshet at No. 5. Alyssa Tobita was ahead in her No. 1 singles match when the Ducks clinched the victory.
Oregon advances to play No. 3-ranked Duke, a 4-0 first-round winner over Furman, at noon Saturday in the 64-team tournament. Also winning Friday were fellow Pac-12 teams UCLA (over Fresno State) and Stanford (over St. John's), while Arizona State fell (to Wake Forest).
Daniela Nasser downed Kaitlin Staines 6-2, 6-3 victory at the No. 4 spot to tie the match, but UT answered almost immediately as Johanna Silva downed Paiton Wagner at No. 6 to re-take the lead, 2-1.
With Alyssa Tobita and Shweta Sangwan battling in first set tiebreakers, freshman Julia Lilien headed into a third set after powering through Tennessee's Ariadna Riley 6-0 in her opening set.
As the Ducks and Volunteers traded blows, sophomore Julia Eshet tried to prevent a third set of her own at the No. 5 spot. Eshet won her opening set, but UT's Gabby Schuck vied to send it into a third, after tying the second set 6-6. The Hollywood, Fla., native shut down Shuck in the extra set, 6-4, 7-6(3), to tie the match once again, 2-2.
Lilien kept the momentum rolling, defeating Elizabeth Profit, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, to put UO ahead 3-2.
With the match decision on the line, Tobita and Sangwan raced against one another to clinch the victory.
After falling in her opening set tiebreaker, 7-6(7-4), Tobita bounced back to force a third while Sangwan pulled out a hard fought tiebreaker win in her first set, 7-6(9-7).
With both Ducks leading in their final sets, Sangwan managed to cross the finish line first, downing Tennessee's Elizabeth Profit, 7-6(7), 6-2, to secure the match victory.
Notable: With the win today, Oregon is now 4-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament … Nasser has now won five straight singles matches, sporting an 8-4 record from the No. 4 spot this season … Sangwan is the only current Duck with two singles victories in the NCAA Tournament after recording UO's only win against NC State last season … This is the third time this season UO has come back to win a match after losing the doubles point.