ASU tennis overcomes doubles loss to beat BYU 4-3

No. 28 ASU women’s tennis continued Pac-12 play with a 4-3 victory over No. 64 BYU.

The doubles lineup did not change from Thursday’s victory over No. 50 Yale, but the results did. The Sun Devils (13-2, 1-0 Pac-12) lost the doubles point.

“We were a little disappointed in our doubles,” coach Sheila McInerney said. “We just came out pretty flat, no energy.”

The court of sophomore No. 96 Desirae Krawczyk and freshman Kassidy Jump was the only one that got the victory.

“Overall, we did a good job being aggressive and playing our game,” Jump said.

The two did not stop playing well after doubles; they both won their singles matches.

Both took 4-1 leads in the first set of their singles match. Jump didn’t falter and won 6-1. It took Krawczyk a little longer to complete her set but won 6-3.

Neither of them had trouble in their second sets, each shutting out her respective opponent 6-0 and getting two important early points for ASU.

“She missed a lot of balls long,” Jump said. “I could either get the ball I wanted in order to hit the winner or I could just let her miss and most of the times i just let her miss.”

As Krawczyk was wrapping up her match, junior Joanna Smith was struggling on court six. She lost both of her sets 6-3.

McInerney said this was one of the worst matches she had seen Smith play, but the fact that Krawczyk and Jump won so quickly lessened the blow.

“It makes a big difference, it’s really helpful,” she said.

The score was tied at two, and sophomore No. 50 Stephanie Vlad started slow on court one. Her opponent, freshman Mayci Jones, took a 1-0 lead in the first set and the two began trading points.

Vlad said she was tired at the beginning of the match, but increasing wins turned the tide.

“Once the wind picked up, I realized that I needed to keep my footwork up and I noticed that she was struggling with it,” she said. “The balls were dropping shorter … it looked like she wasn’t recognizing it.”

After eight points back and forth, the score of the first set was tied at four. Vlad had enough and went on to win nine consecutive points in route to a 6-4, 6-0 victory.

“(Associate head coach) Clint (Letcher) was telling me to keep the ball low,” Vlad said.

Vlad did this, and the wind forced Jones to make unforced errors.

This gave ASU a crucial third point, and the Sun Devils took a 3-2 lead. Every point was needed; the two remaining matches had started well for the Sun Devils, but the players struggled in set two.

Sophomore Ebony Panoho was the first to finish her first set, and she won it 6-0. Junior Leighann Sahagun also dominated in set one, winning 6-1.

Panoho couldn’t pull out the second set. This has been a tendency of Panoho’s; after playing well in the first set, she hasn’t been able to continue her momentum.

“She let the match slip away, in my opinion she was the better player,” McInerney said.

Sahagun was also overmatched in her second set. She lost 6-2.

“There wasn’t much diversity to (sophomore Nicolette Tran’s) game,” Sahagun said.

However, Tran’s playing style of flat, low hits got the better of Sahagun.

“I kind of fed her balls in hopes that she was going to miss,” Sahagun said. “I realized that that wasn’t really working well so I decided to start hitting the ball again.”

They went into the third set. One of them needed a victory to clinch the match.

The two were in the same situation in doubles. Down 7-4, Sahagun was fighting for the doubles point after court one had won and court three had fallen.

Although Sahagun couldn’t force victory in doubles, she had no problem in the third set of the singles match, winning 6-0 and clinching the match.

“Leighann played a really good third set,” McInerney said.

Panoho was unable to extend the lead, and lost 6-4 in the third set. It was an unnecessary finish, as ASU had already officially won.

The Sun Devils play another nonconference match Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. against Purdue at the Whiteman Tennis Center.

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

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated ASU’s record.