Women's Tennis Look to Bounce Back on the Road

April 4, 2003

EUGENE - The No. 33 Oregon women's tennis team hopes to break a three-match losing streak with two matches in California this weekend. The Ducks (10-11, 2-6) will play at No. 54 Pepperdine Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by a Sunday match against Loyola Marymount, also at 11 a.m.

Oregon has lost eight of its last nine matches, but six of those losses have come against teams currently ranked in the nation's top 10. Unfortunately for the Ducks, injuries have played a key role in Oregon's recent lack of success. Oregon lost junior Davina Mendiburu at the beginning of the season, and freshman Jamie Marshall has been unable to play the past few weeks with an injured ankle. Also, at least three of Oregon's remaining six players are dealing with nagging injuries.

The team dropped six spots in this week's rankings, but individual rankings will not be updated until next week. Sophomore Daria Panova, ranked No. 15 in singles, and junior Courtney Nagle, ranked No. 40 in singles, form the No. 27-ranked doubles team in the nation.

Both teams should provide a strong test for the Ducks, with Pepperdine featuring two ranked singles players. Freshman Natalie Braverman (46) and junior Charlotte Vernaz (51) give Pepperdine a powerful one-two punch at the top of the lineup. Although Loyola Marymount has no ranked players, the Lions recently upset conference rival Pepperdine, 4-3.

Oregon will complete its dual match season in two weeks with matches at San Diego State and San Diego. The Ducks will then compete in the Pac-10 Championships, followed by the NCAA Championships.

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