ASU tennis continues to work on physical play in practice

The ASU women’s tennis team took a day off to recover Monday after a weekend against Pepperdine University and UNLV.

The NCAA mandates a rest day; however, coach Sheila McInerney said she planned to do it anyway.

The team will get back into action Tuesday.

 
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“We’re going to do a lot of serving and returning. I think that will be a big emphasis,” McInerney said.

She said that these are important aspects in doubles play in particular, which has been a part of match play where the ASU team has not seen consistency.

Wednesday, the team will shift to improving mobility and physical work. To do this, McInerney said, they hit balls side-to-side on the court.

Additionally, the team will run and move more.

McInerney has stressed that the athletes need to improve their physicality after multiple matches. After the loss to Northwestern Jan. 26, she said the team needed to be more physical. After losing to Pepperdine Feb. 15, she said their opponents were more aggressive.

McInerney has also pushed physicality in victories, and is focusing on it in practice.

“The match should be easier than practice,” McInerney said.

The team will simulate match play Thursday and Friday. Saturday, ASU will play against Nevada.

ASU sophomore Ebony Panoho is probable for this match. After injuring her wrist in January, the problem flared back up against UNLV on Sunday. She was scratched from the lineup as a precautionary measure.

McInerney said wrist injuries aren’t uncommon in tennis, but Panoho has struggled to recover. She is seeing a doctor this week and McInerney is optimistic.

“I would think she’d be back by next weekend,” McInerney said.

Sophomore Desirae Krawczyk, who injured her groin in practice two weeks ago, played against UNLV and Pepperdine. She did not lose a game over the weekend and is playing as if she is healthy.

As of Monday, McInerney was unsure of lineup changes. Assuming Panoho returns to action next weekend, she would likely take the No. 4 spot in singles play.

Friday, McInerney shifted the doubles lineup. She put Krawczyk and freshman Kassidy Jump on the No. 1 court and put juniors Leighann Sahagun and Joanna Smith on the No. 2 court. Sophomores Stephanie Vlad and Panoho remained in the No. 3 spot.

McInerney said that Krawczyk and Jump were playing well together in practice, and it showed in the matches. The two won their match against Pepperdine.

They didn’t finish their game against UNLV.

After losing to Pepperdine, Sahagun and Smith defeated their UNLV opponents.

Saturday, McInerney said there was no big difference in talent level between the three doubles teams.

“We don’t have one team that’s way better than anybody else,” she said. “We have three teams that are all pretty equal.”

These practices will lead to another two-match weekend. After playing Nevada on Saturday, ASU will set its sights on San Diego.

Both matches will be played at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe.

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