Tennis expects victory over NAU before road trip

Sianna Simmons lunges for the ball at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational on Nov. 5, 2011. Simmons and the Sun Devils are confident their extra week of practice will help them beat NAU. (Photo by Lisa Bartoli)

The Sun Devils face NAU’s Lumberjacks on Friday, and coach Sheila McInerney expects her team to triumph.

“We have been successful against NAU in the past,” McInerney said. “We are the more talented team, so it is important that we come out and take care of business.”

On Feb. 5, the tennis team earned a hard-fought victory against San Diego 4­–3.

Highlights of the San Diego tournament included a three-set match victory from sophomore Jacqueline Cako.

After losing her first set 4-6, Cako stormed the court and didn’t allow her opponent another point, taking the last two set 6-0, 6-0.

The tournament scheduled for last weekend was cancelled because of scheduling conflicts, and the Sun Devils took advantage of the extra time off to work on their game.

“We have had a good two weeks of practice,” McInerney said. “We have used this time to play several competitive practice matches against each other to stay sharp.”

Some players, such as senior Sianna Simmons, take individual practices to get one-on-one attention from the coaches.

Next weekend, the Sun Devils travel to Malibu, Calif., to play Pepperdine and Boise State.

After weeks of playing at home, the team is ready to hit the road.

Senior Michelle Brycki said she will miss the road trips the most after she graduates.

“I really enjoy going away with the team,” Brycki said. “It’s nice to spend a chunk of time with the team and go out to dinner together.”

McInerney agreed, and said road trips offer bonding experiences.

For now, the team is focused on beating NAU.

Play begins Friday at 11 a.m. at the Whiteman Tennis Complex.

 

Reach the reporter at dkmcinty@asu.edu

 

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