Junior Joanna Smith of the ASU women’s tennis team celebrated her 21st birthday with two wins over Montana St. in a doubleheader.
Smith got off to a slow start. She was teamed with junior Leighann Sahagun in doubles play, and fell to a 4-1 deficit by the time the other two doubles matches had been won.
Smith and Sahagun did not have to finish the set, but got a chance at redemption in the second match of the doubleheader.
Although Sahagun’s serve were admittedly inconsistent, she and Smith got the redemption they were looking for.
“I feel like I was just trying to go for too big of a shot, or I was like forcing my serve, or putting too much pressure on myself,” Sahagun said.
Her second serves landed, though.
“(Sahagun’s) second serve’s pretty effective because it kicks up on their backhands, which is a tough shot to hit,” Smith said.
The teams traded off the first two points, but Smith’s serves were accurate and on-point. They got a 2-1 lead in the first set and didn’t look back, winning it, 6-1.
Smith, who won 6-0 on both sets she played, won the first singles point for ASU.
“I was making a lot of my serves in and playing consistent,” Smith said.
Freshman Kassidy Jump (6-1, 6-2) won the second point.
The 10 a.m. match was the first time this season in which every singles game was completed, even though ASU officially won after No. 50 sophomore Stephanie Vlad defeated sophomore Iva Parapunova (6-1, 6-1) to clinch the fourth point for ASU.
The agreement to finish all six singles matches allowed No. 91 sophomore Desirae Krawczyk to win (6-2, 6-1).
Krawczyk and Jump finished doubles play quickly, beating their opponents, 6-0. Vlad played with freshman Alex Osborne and won, 6-2.
It also allowed Sahagun to complete her match. She played senior Paulina Lopez Trevino, who had been beating Sahagun during doubles play at the time it was called to a close.
Sahagun squeezed out the final point to win the first set, 7-5.
“(Lopez Trevino) has this game that just gets me out of my game,” Sahagun said. “She hits balls that aren’t really hard, and it’s kind of like I have to generate the pace and then when I do that I tend overhit the ball.”
She adjusted and didn’t let up in the second set, winning, 6-1.
Freshman Gussie O’Sullivan completed the first match sweep with a 6-4, 6-2 victory. ASU won 7-0.
In the second half of the doubleheader, four singles sets were played while the doubles match was going on, but none were particularly close. No Montana State player won more than two points in a single set.
Coach Sheila McInerney said Montana State was below ASU’s talent-level, but it was respectful to play hard.
“Our girls did a really good job of staying on it and just sort of keeping their foot on the gas pedal,” McInerney said.
ASU won the second match of the doubleheader and completed the sweep, 5-0.
The Sun Devils face San Jose State Feb. 2.
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