ASU women’s tennis loses to Northwestern in ITA Kick-Off Championship

In the championship round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend event, the ASU women’s tennis team lost 4-0 to Northwestern.

ASU coach Sheila McInerney complimented the Wildcats after the loss.

“Northwestern was more aggressive and a little bit stronger than we were,” McInerney said.

The teams battled through the three doubles matches.

Juniors Leighann Sahagun and Joanna Smith lost to No. 35 ranked senior Veronica Corning and sophomore Alicia Barnett, 6-4.

After defeating NAU in doubles play, the two were named the No. 1 ASU doubles duo. They lost yesterday to Notre Dame, too.

Sophomores Ebony Panoho and Stephanie Vlad fought against freshman Maddie Lipp and senior Nida Hamilton of Northwestern, but eventually lost 7-6.

At this point in the match, the third doubles court was tied 5-5.

“If we could’ve won that match in two, I think, maybe we would’ve won the doubles point,” McInerney said. “I think we would’ve had some momentum going into singles.”

Alas, it was not to be, and Northwestern went into singles play with the edge.

After the match against Notre Dame, McInerney talked about the depth of Northwestern’s team.

She said each of their players were solid, and there was not a steep drop-off in talent level between any of them.

This sentiment proved true; in singles play, Northwestern won three rounds consecutively. The remaining three were called off at this point.

Vlad suffered her first loss of 2014 to Corning (6-3, 6-2).

McInerney said the indoor conditions may have affected Vlad, who is accustomed to outdoor courts.

After defeating the No. 67 ranked tennis player the night before, sophomore Desirae Krawczyk lost the first set to senior No. 105 Belinda Niu, 6-2. She was losing 2-1 in the second when the game was called.

Panoho and freshman Kassidy Jump also left their matches unfinished. Freshman Alex Osborne played in her first career match with ASU, losing 6-3, 6-1.

“I think it was good for (Osborne),” McInerney said. “We wanted to see how she would play against a good team.”

McInerney said she played well in her first set, but Osborne’s opponent, freshman Manon Peri, stepped up in the second.

ASU finished the tournament in second place. Notre Dame, which ASU defeated the night before, bested Oklahoma State to take home third.

Singles

Veronica Corning (Northwestern) def. No. 50 Stephanie Vlad (ASU) 6-3, 6-2

No. 105 Belinda Niu (Northwestern) vs. No. 91 Desirae Krawczyk (ASU) 6-2, 2-1 (unfinished)

Alicia Barnett (Northwestern) def. Leighann Sahagun (ASU) 6-2, 6-3

Lok Sze Leung (Northwestern) vs. Ebony Panoho (ASU) 7-5, 3-0 (unfinished)

Jillian Rooney (Northwestern) vs. Kassidy Jump (ASU) 6-3, 4-6 (unfinished)

Manon Peri (Northwestern) def. Alexandra Osborne (ASU) 6-3, 6-1

Doubles

No. 35 Veronica Corning / Alicia Barnett (Northwestern) def. Leighann Sahagun / Joanna Smith (ASU) 6-4

Maddie Lipp / Nida Hamilton (Northwestern) def. Ebony Panoho / Stephanie Vlad (ASU) 7-6 (4)

Belinda Niu / Brooke Rischbieth (Northwestern) vs. Desirae Krawczyk / Kassidy Jump (ASU) 5-5 (unfinished)

Reach the reporter at lmnewma1@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @Logan_Newsman