The ASU women’s tennis team (11-2, 1-0 Pac-12) fell to a season-low No. 40 in the ITA rankings, but still defeated No. 29 Washington 6-1 on Friday.
“I thought we fought really hard,” ASU head coach Sheila McInerney said. “It was a good team win.”
The lost point came in doubles, and those games weren’t very close.
Two of the teams remained the same from last week. Junior Leighann Sahagun and freshman Alex Osborne lost 8-3. Sophomore Desirae Krawczyk and freshman Kassidy Jump won 8-1, and sophomore Ebony Panoho and junior Joanna Smith lost 8-3.
This change came on the heels of an injury to sophomore Stephanie Vlad.
This didn’t stop Vlad, No. 48, from competing at a high level in singles. She defeated sophomore Elianne Douglas-Miron, ranked No. 111, by a score of 6-3, 6-3.
“Any time you win in No. 1 singles … It was good. We needed it,” McInerney said.
No. 122 Krawczyk also played well in singles. After starting slowly and winning 6-4 in the second, she found her rhythm and won 6-1 in the second.
Jump won her match 6-3, 6-2. These gave ASU a 3-1 lead quickly, but McInerney said outside those three singles battles, the match was very close.
The scoreboard, showing a 6-1 Sun Devil victory, did not reveal that three of the matches went into the third set. Traditional ITA rules were used, so the full third set was played instead of the recent tiebreaker rounds.
Sahagun had to fight to win the first set, but eked out a 7-5 victory. She was unable to grab the upper hand in set two and lost 3-6.
Her third set was as close as the first, and she won 7-5.
Panoho and Smith’s matches also went into three sets, but were different in a key way.
Neither of them won their first set.
Coming off some easy victories in recent matches, Panoho lost 1-6 in the first set. This score typically does not bode well for the loser, but she fought back in the second set and won 6-3.
Smith’s first set was closer. She lost 4-6 and was able to defeat her opponent 6-3 in the second set.
The third set was the closest score-wise of the match. The set ended up tied at 6 before Smith got the go-ahead point and won 7-6.
“That’s not easy to do,” McInerney said about winning the match after losing the first set. “That’s sort of a pressure-cooker.”
This gave ASU a 6-1 victory.
McInerney said winning in Washington specifically is tough.
“We played outdoors,” McInerney said. The weather was a little chilly.”
The temperature was around 50 degrees, she said, but the team chose to play outdoors instead of on an inside court because they are more accustomed to outdoor conditions than the Huskies are.
“Washington would’ve preferred to play indoors, they play most of their matches indoors,” she said. “It worked out great for us.”
Reach the reporter at Logan.firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at Logan_Newsman