After a rain delay moved match play from Saturday to Sunday, No. 19 ASU women’s tennis was defeated 6-1 by No. 5 Stanford, a team ASU coach Sheila McInerney called the “iconic” women’s tennis program prior to the match.
Boasting six players ranked in the top 42, Stanford continues its undefeated season. ASU, on the other hand, drops its second consecutive match after winning 10 straight.
This match came two days after ASU was defeated 7-0 by No. 13 Cal.
“I thought we played better than we did against Cal,” McInerney said.
Doubles, she said, was tough.
Sophomore Krawczyk and freshman Alex Osborne were defeated 8-0 by No. 10 doubles duo senior Kristie Ahn and freshman Carol Zhao.
Junior Leighann Sahagun and freshman Kassidy Jump, on court two, lost 8-2.
At this point, doubles was called. Sophomores Ebony Panoho and Stephanie Vlad were losing 6-5 on court three.
“I thought we played better doubles than we did against Cal,” McInerney said.
The undoing for ASU proved to be on the bottom three courts. Sahagun, Panoho and junior Joanna Smith are all unranked. They played against freshman No. 27 Taylor Davidson, junior No. 42 Ellen Tsay and freshman No. 37 Caroline Doyle, respectively.
“They’re really deep,” McInerney said. “It’s going to be tough, but I thought we could have played a little more consistent.”
None of the bottom three won a match.
The match did have positive aspects for the Sun Devils.
Vlad played better in this match than the previous two, despite losing. Her loss, which came against No. 2 Ahn, was a close affair, 6-3, 6-4. McInerney said she played for at least four match points.
Jump, coming off strong performances in recent matches, continued to play hard, McInerney said.
“(Jump) competed really, really well today,” McInerney said.
She added that Jump’s recent success has come off her working on improving her serves.
“That’s always been sort of her Achilles’ heel,” McInerney said. “She realizes at this level against these kids, you can’t give away free points.”
Jump played well in set one against No. 28 Zhao before losing 7-5. Set two was also a dogfight, but she eventually fell 6-3.
Krawczyk returned to form and was a bright spot for ASU. She lost her undefeated season against Cal on Saturday but made sure not to extend it into a losing streak.
Playing against sophomore No. 39 Krista Hardebeck, Krawczyk lost the first set 6-3. Krawczyk would not be denied in set two. She came back and won a tough 6-4 set two.
She won the tiebreaker 10-5 and got ASU’s lone point.
This was the first time Krawczyk defeated Hardebeck, who McInerney said the two played in juniors. Hardebeck was one of the top recruits as a high school senior, McInerney said.
ASU lost to Stanford 6-1, ending Stanford’s four-game streak of shutouts.
McInerney said these past matches have shown how the best teams play, which will help them down the stretch of Pac-12 play.
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