ASU tennis continues homestand vs. Fresno State, Santa Clara

After blanking San Jose State on Wednesday, the ASU women’s tennis team has two days to recover before facing two more teams from the sunshine state.

The Sun Devils (4-1) play host to Fresno State and Santa Clara Feb. 16 and Feb. 17 at home.

ASU was firmly in control of the match against San Jose State, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t aspects on which they couldn’t improve.

“Doubles, I think, we need to get a little bit better,” ASU coach Sheila McInerney said.

The Sun Devils’ struggles in doubles can be in part attributed to their lack of recent competition.

“It’s easy to play a lot of practice sets in singles but sometimes is hard to simulate the intensity in the doubles during practice,” McInerney said.

Fresno State (4-2, 1-0 Mountain West), who ASU plays first, is not outstanding in doubles but aren’t weak there either. The Bulldogs have a winning percentage just shy of 6 percent in doubles.

Fresno State is familiar with the Pac-12 already this season. The Bulldogs only losses this season are to No. 8 Cal on Jan. 27 and No. 6 USC on Feb. 2, losing both matches by a combined score of 14-0.

Fresno State does not have any individually ranked players, but as a team the Bulldogs are ranked No. 52 in the country.

“They beat Pepperdine, who we lost to last year. They have a win over UNLV. They’re actually playing very well,” McInerney said.

While Fresno State may be familiar with the Pac-12, Santa Clara is familiar with a couple of ASU’s previous opponents.

The Broncos beat UC Davis 4-3 Feb. 3 and lost to San Jose State 4-3 Feb. 9. The Sun Devils knocked off UC Davis 7-0 in their second match of the season.

The trend of familiarity continues at the No. 1 position for Santa Clara (2-2). Sophomore Katie Le, Santa Clara’s No.1 player and the No. 25-ranked singles player in the country, lost to San Jose State sophomore Klaudia Boczova 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-1).

Senior Jacqueline Cako, ASU’s No.1 player, defeated Boczova 6-4, 6-0 Wednesday.

Despite the connections, it still may not give the Sun Devils any advantages.

“Every match, every day is different, every matchup is different. … I don’t think it’s going to make any difference,” McInerney said.

One thing that could make a big difference is if standout freshman Desirae Krawczyk returns to the lineup.

Krawczyk did not play in singles in the Sun Devils’ last match against San Jose State, but she did partner with sophomore Leighann Sahagun for a 8-3 doubles win.

It’s unclear whether or not Krawczyk will be available for Saturday’s match with Fresno State. McInerney plans to evaluate Krawczyk over the next couple of days before making a decision.

 

Reach the reporter at ejsmith7@asu.edu