The ASU women’s tennis team took the court for the first time this season during the weekend at the Wolverine Invitational. ASU fared well in singles play, going 2-1-1, but struggled in doubles play, losing all three matches.
Coach Sheila McInerney was pleased with the way her team finished the weekend by defeating the host No. 10 Michigan Wolverines in singles play.
“I’m certainly pleased with the way we ended,” McInerney said. “We had the opportunity to play a top-10, top-15 team in Michigan and I really felt we played well.”
Going into the tournament, one of the key questions McInerney and associate head coach Clint Letcher had was how the freshmen would fare.
McInerney said she was impressed with the way Kassidy Jump and Gussie O’Sullivan played.
“I really, really liked the way our freshmen compete,” McInerney said. “I think they’re really good competitors. That’s huge; you need that.”
Jump finished the tournament with a 2-2 record in singles, while O’Sullivan won two of her three matches. Neither saw much success playing doubles, though.
McInerney attributed the less-than-stellar doubles showing to the freshmen only having one day of doubles practice before the tournament.
While McInerney was happy with the way Jump and O’Sullivan played, she didn’t find any clarity on her doubles pairings during the weekend.
“We didn’t expect to (find doubles teams),” McInerney said. “We’ll spend this next month trying to figure (them) out.”
ASU used seven different doubles pairings in nine sets. The only teams to compete twice were Jump and junior Leighann Sahagun, and O’Sullivan and sophomore Desirae Krawczyk. The Sun Devils didn’t win a doubles match and won just two of their nine sets.
McInerney believes ASU had more success in singles play, because there is more strategy involved in doubles. With just one day of doubles practice, it was difficult for McInerney to expect success from her doubles teams.
Krawczyk was the only Sun Devil ranked in the ITA preseason singles top-150 at No. 81. However, sophomore Stephanie Vlad won three matches for the Sun Devils, two in the No. 1 position in the lineup. Her only singles loss of the weekend came against tournament champion and Michigan sophomore, Ronit Yurovsky.
Krawczyk played one match in the No. 1 slot, but the rest at No. 2. She won two matches but dropped her match against Notre Dame sophomore Quinn Gleason in two sets.
Vlad was the only Sun Devil to win a match against the Fighting Irish, upsetting senior No. 35 Britney Sanders.
Overall, McInerney said she was disappointed in the outcome of the doubles matches but thinks her team will benefit from playing competitive matches early in the year.
“I thought we could have played a lot better in doubles,” McInerney said. “I don’t think we had the energy we needed to have. We got four singles and three doubles matches in. … (We’re) coming away healthy. It’s hard to beat that.”
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