PSU tennis defeated by Ducks

These results were a slight improvement over last season, when both Vikings teams fell to the Ducks with identical 0-7 scores.

These results were a slight improvement over last season, when both Vikings teams fell to the Ducks with identical 0-7 scores.

“As a whole, I thought the men played really well,” coach Jay Sterling said. “Our players competed better from start to finish than they did in the fall, and did a better job of implementing game plan adjustments throughout the course of their matches.”

Sterling added, “Regarding the women’s matches, I don’t think that Oregon will ever look at our program in the same way again. I think that our girls earned a lot of respect, even with a 0-7 loss.”

Oregon’s men’s tennis team entered into its contest against the Vikings with two successive 6-1 wins over Eastern Washington and Gonzaga. The Vikings, on the other hand, came into the match after finishing fifth in the Big Sky conference last season.

On Friday, Vikings senior Alex VanDerschelden, playing at No. 2 in the singles lineup, defeated Oregon’s Baptiste Faynot in straight sets 6-2 (6-4). However, this was the only win registered by a Viking.

“With the exception of Alex [VanDerschelden] and Roman [Margoulis], I wasn’t really happy with the way that we opened our singles matches, and would like to see more consistent scores throughout the lineup,” Sterling said. “Mentally, we have got to do a better job at letting go of our doubles matches, and getting into the singles portion of the dual with a more clear and focused mindset.”

VanDerschelden combined with doubles partner, sophomore Mitch Somach, and the two stretched their doubles game against Oregon’s Jose Izquierdo and Faynot to the tiebreaker, but eventually lost 7-6 (7-3). Senior Matt Erickson also extended his singles match against Duncan Macdonal-Korth (6-3, 7-6 (7-2)) into the tiebreaker without much success.

Portland State lost all three doubles games and five of its six singles matches, thus losing the contest 1-6.

“Anyone who watched our matches saw that our guys can hit and play with anyone,” Sterling said. “The issues that we have aren’t really technical. We have to work on controlling the things that we can, and at not letting uncontrollable things, like the past, have such a major effect on our immediate performance.”

Sterling added that he was impressed with how his players performed in their second sets.

“I truly believe that everyone on the team thought that they could win their matches as their second sets went on.”

On the women’s side, the game between Portland State and Oregon was the 2011 season opener for both the teams. In 2010, the Portland State women’s team had finished bottom of the table in the Big Sky conference with a 0-8 record (2-17 overall). This season, Oregon has a nationally ranked doubles team and singles player.

“We had some of the best scores ever against Oregon,” Sterling said. “Yuki [Sugiyama], Anya [Dalkin], Tara [Vadali] and Marina [Todd] all had opportunities to win more games in their singles matches. They had some really long matches, and as their matches went on, and they were still out there competing after an hour and a half, you could see them thinking to themselves, ‘Hey, we could actually beat these girls!'”

“This was a great thing to see as a coach,” Sterling said. “To see them believing in themselves, and realizing that there is an actual reward for the hard work that they have been putting in at practice.”

On Friday, freshman Marina Todd was the only Viking who managed the win a set against her Pac-10 opponent. Todd went down 3-6 in the first set against Oregon’s Molly McDevitt but won the second set 6-3 before losing the final set 6-0. The Vikings lost all of their nine matches (three doubles and six singles games), thereby losing the contest 1-6 to the Ducks.

“We definitely took a step forward as a program, which is something that I’ve been waiting for from our team,” Sterling said. “However, there’s still a long way to go. In doubles, we came out really flat. None of our teams held serve in their first service games, and we failed to break in our first receiving games, so we basically started every doubles match off at 0-2 before we really got things going.” ?