The most recent ITA rankings update placed ASU in the top 20 for the first time this season. The No. 19 Sun Devils were unable to prove their ranking, though, falling to No. 13 California 7-0.
“We expected to play better than we did,” ASU coach Sheila McInerney said.
The doubles team of freshman Kassidy Jump and sophomore Desirae Krawczyk became ranked over the past week, but the two didn’t play together. Instead, freshman Alex Osborne was placed with Krawczyk on court one.
“We needed a change in doubles,” McInerney said.
She referenced the match against Washington State in which Krawczyk and Jump were losing 6-7 when the match was abandoned.
Krawczyk and Osborne delivered, winning 6-5 with a 7-2 tiebreaker round, defeating the No. 60 ranked doubles tandem.
“Alex and Des played pretty well today,” McInerney said. “Our two and three doubles did not play as well as I would assume they normally would.”
The two and three doubles courts did struggle. Jump and junior Leighann Sahagun lost 8-1 on court two. Sophomore Stephanie Vlad and junior Joanna Smith couldn’t capitalize coming off momentum from previous victories and were defeated 8-2.
McInerney said it is illegal to change the doubles teammates in back-to-back Pac-12 matches, but she can swap in a new doubles duo if she deems it necessary.
Singles fared no better for the Devils.
McInerney made a minor lineup change. She moved Jump to the third court and put Sahagun on the four. This change came after a two-match losing streak for Sahagun and a three-match win streak for Jump.
Junior No. 14 Zsofi Susanyi was on court three, despite being the highest ranked player in Cal’s lineup and Jump gave her a challenge.
The first set was tied at 6-all before Susanyi could put Jump away, and the second set provided a similar fight. Jump got off to a 2-1 lead. The two traded points until Susanyi tied the score at four and didn’t look back en route to a 6-4 second set victory, winning a point for Cal.
Smith also provided a challenge on the sixth court. She lost the first set 6-2, but battled back and won a contested second set 7-5.
The tiebreaker was also close. The players traded off points, but Smith eventually fell 10-8.
Those were the two high points in singles.
Vlad, coming off a weekend with zero wins, a loss and an unfinished match, fell to No. 60 in the rankings. She was against freshman No. 29 Denise Starr, who defeated Vlad in the Thunderbird Invitational (6-3, 6-3) in November.
Vlad fared no better this time around. She lost 6-2, 6-1.
“Starr’s a better player, to be honest with you” McInerney said.
Krawczyk saw the end of her undefeated streak consisting of 16-0 with two unfinished matches. During this span, though, she had not played against a player of the caliber of her Cal opponent, senior No. 30 Anett Schutting.
She fell quickly in the first set, losing 6-1. Krawczyk took a 2-0 in set two, though, but couldn’t hold the lead and lost 6-4.
Sahagun couldn’t hold her own against sophomore Klara Fabikova and lost 6-2, 6-0. Panoho, playing well recently, fell 7-5, 6-1 against freshman No. 78 Maegan Manasse.
“I think (Cal) was stronger and tougher than we were,” McInerney said.
All said and done, ASU suffered its first 7-0 defeat of the season. Tomorrow will be no easier as the Sun Devils take on No. 5 Stanford.
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