Not very often will a Division III school get an international athlete to come play for their collegiate team. But for Pacific University, this became possible after the 6’2” tennis player, Oscar Wight was looking to come to the United States after a successful career in his hometown Adelaide, Australia.
So, why Pacific some might ask? Well, for the senior, who has been a force for the Boxers tennis team each year, he chose Pacific for one reason; the effort and communication that former head coach Brian Jackson put toward recruiting Wight.
“Pacific was a good choice for me, mainly because of the coach I was talking to at the time,” Wight said of Jackson. “Out of all the coaches I emailed, he was definitely the best communicator out of all of them.”
While he was not able to visit due to the fact that a flight from Adelaide to Portland is nearly 24 hours, he based his decision off how genuine Jackson was toward him. Also, with his interest in Exercise Science, which has been rigorous at Pacific, it was a good fit for his academics.
Jackson’s commitment and genuine behavior toward Wight turned out to be well worth it. After Wight’s successful high school career, being selected to the South Australian State Tennis Team from 2011 to 2013 and was a captain in 2012 and 2013, Wight has put up scintillating numbers for the Boxers. With a slow start his freshmen season, posting a 5-4 mark in singles and 10-8 in doubles, his sophomore season would only get better. He would post a 9-6 record in singles and an impressive 14-6 mark in doubles, that included knocking off No. 14 ranked Zach Hewlin and Phillip Locklear of Whitman in the conference tournament with partner Chris Dalton. As a junior, he would notch an overall record of 15-6 in doubles, that included eight straight wins during the season. Singles, he would improve to 12-7 overall.
With his four years in the program, Wight commented that he has not necessarily improved technically in college, but mentally. Learning how to “grind” through a match as he states.
“Tennis wise, in college, teaches you how to win a match when things are not going your way,” the senior said. “That has been something I have really learned and enjoyed having the experience of.”
As of this season so far, the Australian product is currently holding a 7-7 record in singles, and 10-6 in doubles. Going in the last few matches of the season, Wight is looking to focus on himself, wanting to finish strong as his collegiate career winds down. He and fellow senior Sage Katayama have done a lot of developing the underclassmen of the team, considering eight of the 11 players on the roster are. It was important for him and Katayama to show them the way things role around the Boxers tennis program.
“I think it is time now where I sit back and let that play out,” Wright said. “I am going to focus on what I got to do to.”