ASU tennis heads into Nike Invitational without Cako

Senior Hannah James winds up for an underhand swing during a practice prior to the Wolverine Invitational last week. (Photo by Kyle Newman)

The ASU tennis team travels to Berkeley, Calif., this weekend to compete in the Cal Nike Invitational hosted by Pac-12 foe California.

The Sun Devils will be competing against 12 teams and over 80 players in the three-day tournament that will consist of singles and doubles play.

Junior Jacqueline Cako, ranked No. 13 in the preseason polls, will not be playing and has yet to play this season.

This tournament will show how the team will transition from its first tournament last weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the Sun Devils lost more matches than they won.

Head coach Sheila McInerney said last week the first tournament would be eye opening for the freshmen and was right. It will take a little bit of time for the two freshmen players to feel comfortable at the collegiate level.

Freshman Stephanie Vlad, played tough in her singles matches last weekend, but could not close out against the tough opponents she faced.

McInerney said she has faith in the freshmen and liked the way freshman Desirae Krawczyk looked in her first tournament.

Krawczyk definitely looked the best at the Wolverine Invitational, garnering three of the Sun Devils four-match victories.

The team, consisting of several ITA academic scholars, should learn from their mistakes suffered last week and will work together to show how truly talented they can be on the court.

Time is key and as long as ASU takes things slowly, they will be a force to be reckoned with in no time.

The other teams competing in this invitational are: Fresno State, Pacific, UC Davis, BYU, Nevada, Santa Clara, Minnesota, Saint Mary’s, San Jose State, Sacramento State and San Francisco.

Last season, the Sun Devils advanced to the semi-finals in singles and doubles in this tournament. The doubles team of senior Hannah James and former player Sianna Simmons fell to Saint Mary’s in the consolation match, so it should be interesting to see how James returns with a new doubles partner to compete in the annual tournament.

The tournament will begin Friday afternoon and will come to its conclusion Sunday.

 

Reach the reporter at drosenbl@asu.edu