Tennis falls to Stanford, Cal on road trip

Joanna Smith prepares to return a serve in a match against Sacramento State on March 2. Smith and the Sun Devils were unable to find sustained success on the court when they lost to Stanford and Cal last weekend. (Photo by Sam Rosenbaum)

The ASU tennis team knew it was in for a tough weekend.

The Sun Devils (10–5, 2–3 Pac-12) played Stanford on Friday and California on Sunday, losing 7–0 in both contests.

Coach Sheila McInerney said the team fell short of its goals.

“We’ve got to step up and play,” McInerney said. “You want to feel like you were right there in a tournament, and this weekend, we weren’t.”

The Sun Devils were in Palo Alto, Calif., Friday and faced No. 6 Stanford.

In doubles, the Stanford pair of sophomore Nicole Gibbs and junior Mallory Burdette defeated sophomore Jacqueline Cako and freshman Leighann Sahagun 8–5.

“After a weekend like this, I don’t have to say much,” McInerney said. “We know we had it handed it to us.”

The Sun Devils’ pair of senior Michelle Brycki and freshman Joanna Smith also lost 8–5 to the pair of junior Stacey Tan and freshman Ellen Tsay.

Stanford won the third doubles match by forfeit.

In singles, Smith defeated No. 59 Tsay in the first set 6–4, before Tsay won the next two sets 6–0 and 6–4.

McInerney said Smith was a bright spot this weekend.

“Joanna played quite well, with two three-setters,” McInerney said. “She was really tough and resilient against tough opponents.”

Cako lost her first individual match this season. Gibbs defeated Cako in two sets, 6–2 and 6–4.

“This is competition,” McInerney said. “We have to play better because they’re not going to give us anything.”

Because of a rainout Saturday, the Sun Devils played No. 9 California on Sunday in Berkeley, Calif.

ASU dropped the first two doubles matches 8–5 and forfeited the third.

Injuries forced ASU into two forfeits, one in the No. 3 doubles spot and one at the No. 6 singles spot.

Junior Nicole Smith didn’t compete after a prior injury worsened.

California freshman Zsofi Susanya upset No. 9 Cako 6–2, 6–1 for Cako’s second individual loss this season.

Joanna Smith was the only Sun Devil to draw a three-set match against Cal. After losing the first set against sophomore Alice Duranteau 6–2, Smith won the second set 5–7. Ultimately, Smith lost the match, losing 1–0 (9) in the third set.

“It was great that after Joanna lost her first set, she bounced back and won,” McInerney said. “It’s really a shame she couldn’t win (the match).”

Next weekend, the Sun Devils play No. 1 UCLA and No. 4 USC in Los Angeles.

“Now the team will have more resolve,” McInerney said. “It’s a pride factor. No one won a match, so there’s room for improvement, and that’s what we want.”

Reach the reporter at dkmcinty@asu.edu

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