ASU tennis returns home to play Nevada and San Diego

Playing at Whiteman Tennis Center for the first time in three weeks, the ASU women’s tennis team will take on Nevada and San Diego on Feb. 22 and 23, respectively.

“I feel like we’re a lot more confident when we play at home,” junior Leighann Sahagun said.

Saturday, ASU takes on the Wolfpack (3-1, 1-0 Mountain West). Currently on a four-game winning streak, Nevada will look to continue pushing itself towards the rankings.

 

 

ASU coach Sheila McInerney said the team doesn’t have very much information about Nevada. Although, she does know that at a collegiate level, every team will be solid.

“They’re going to be good,” she said. “One through six, you have to play well to win.”

McInerney also said Arizona weather conditions may affect the Nevada athletes, who are accustomed to high-altitude play.

“The ball moves pretty quickly here,” she said, attributing it to the lower Arizonan altitude.

McInerney also said her team can’t expect the Wolfpack players to be too fazed, though.

“Tennis players are tennis players,” she said. “They’re used to adjusting.”

Sunday, ASU will face the Toreros (2-4, 0-1 WCC).

McInerney said a few of their players have played against ASU in different tournaments, but the team doesn’t have notes on them yet.

Sahagun said the players typically won’t look at the notes until the match is starting.

“When we warm up we have our 15-minute break and then Sheila or (associate head coach) Clint (Letcher) will tell us our notes on the person,” Sahagun said.

These notes consist of what the player should look for against her opponent, but McInerney said it was more important for the players to focus on their own games than to expect the other team to play a certain way.

“I think the conditions here dictate serving well (and) returning well, so if we can concentrate on those things that usually helps,” she said.

McInerney wasn’t sure about possible lineup changes.

“If we do change it up, it’s just going to be something minor,” she said.

In last week’s match, McInerney switched the doubles lineup. She moved sophomore Desirae Krawczyk and freshman Kassidy Jump to the No. 1 spot, and Sahagun and junior Joanna Smith moved to No. 2.

“Des(irae) and Kass(idy) were playing really well,” Sahagun said.

Sahagun also said the confidence of her and Smith had been slipping since the San Jose State match Feb. 2, which has affected their play.

“When we played San Jose St., they were just attacking us,” Sahagun said. “It just kind of shook us a little bit.”

A knee injury to Sahagun in Malibu, Calif., didn’t help matters.

“My knee just started giving out very painfully,” she said.

She also said this wasn’t only in action but while waiting for a return. She has been practicing in full with a knee band, and is expected to play this weekend.

Krawczyk, who pulled her groin in practice in early February, and sophomore Ebony Panoho, who has been inflicted with wrist problems, are expected to play.

ASU will host Nevada on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m and San Diego on Feb. 23 at noon. Both matches will be held at Whiteman Tennis Center.

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