On senior day in Eugene, the Oregon men’s tennis team got the better of its rival in a 4-1 win against Washington.
Seniors Daniel Sardu and Joey Swaysland were honored in between doubles and singles matches, and their careers were celebrated as they stepped on the court for one last home match.
Fittingly, Sardu and Swaysland were assigned to play together as doubles partners despite only doing so on two prior occasions this season. Their 6-2 defeat over Washington’s Joao Barra and Viktor Farkas set the tone for the Ducks early.
“It’s pretty special to play with Danny (Sardu), he’s one of my best friends,” Swaysland said. “To go out the way we played to finish 6-2, it was awesome. I really enjoy playing with him.”
Head coach Nils Schyllander added, “It’s very special because these guys have been here for years. And for them, a beautiful day in Eugene, a big crowd against our rivals, being able to close it out is something they’re going to carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
Daan Maasland and Simon Stevens battled against Washington’s Emmett Egger and Jeff Hawke to earn the doubles point for the Ducks. The back and forth contest eventually ended in a 7-6 (10-8) win for the pair.
This was the third match in a row in which the Ducks won the doubles point, and all three matches have ended in victory.
“That doubles tiebreaker was huge,” Schyllander said. “Simon came up with an unbelievable shot at match point down. Once we got the doubles point, it just kept rolling.”
When singles began, the Ducks had no trouble hitting their stride. Stevens kept his perfect spring record intact defeating Egger in straight sets. Jayson Amos got his 21st win of the season, a team high, against Hakak in straight sets. And finally, with a 3-1 lead, Cormac Clissold defeated Barra to clinch victory for the Ducks.
Washington got their only point of the afternoon from Jake Douglas’ win over Sardu. Swaysland and Daan Maasland’s matches went unfinished in the third sets.
Coming into the match, Washington’s record looked nearly identical to the Oregon’s on paper. With similar wins over Utah and Arizona, and similar losses to the likes of USC and UCLA, Schyllander said he expected the match to be a close one, and was somewhat surprise with how easy the Ducks made it look today.
For Swaysland and Sardu, the dominant victory over Washington, a team who used to own the Ducks, was the perfect ending to collegiate careers in Eugene.
“The first two years I was here, we didn’t beat Washington, and then finally my junior year we beat them,” Sardu said. “That was a huge step towards getting better as a team. To finish with a 4-1 win, it couldn’t be any better.”
The Ducks will have little time to celebrate as they begin the Pac-12 championship on Tuesday and set their sights on an appearance in the NCAA tournament.
Follow Will Denner on Twitter @Will_Denner