A pair of ASU tennis members relished the spotlight Thursday and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Ojai Valley Tournament.
Sophomore Desirae Krawczyk, competing in the Singles Championship of the Pac-12 bracket, began the day against UCLA freshman Kyle McPhillips.
McPhillips came into the tournament as the eighth seed; Krawczyk did not place as a seed. This did not stop her from winning the first set 6-3 and taking the match in a brutal second set.
“She got off to a good start,” coach Sheila McInerney said. “The second set was a little touch-and-go but she closed it out well.”
McPhillips did not break easily, but Krawczyk took her down, 7-5.
She advanced to the round of 16 to play against Stanford freshman Taylor Davidson.
Davidson, ranked No. 40 on the ITA rankings, proved to be a challenge for Krawczyk. The first set came down to the wire, but the ASU sophomore pulled ahead to grab a 7-5 victory.
She collapsed in set two. Davidson came out strong and shut Krawczyk out, winning 6-0 and forcing a third set.
Krawczyk won the first point
“You sort of breath a sigh of relief,” McInerney said.
She was not done; she won two more in a row and eventually won the set 6-3. This gave her the match and allowed her to enter the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals will likely not be the only thing she gains entry to from these two victories.
“Those two wins, I think, are going to propel her into the NCAA individuals,” McInerney said.
Krawczyk will play against Cal senior Anett Schutting in the quarterfinals. The ASU southpaw will look to avenge her first loss of the regular season, which came at the hands of Schutting on March 28.
Junior Leighann Sahagun, competing in the Invitational Singles of the Pac-12 bracket, had a rough go in the round of 32. She lost the first set 6-1 but went into the second set fighting. She pulled out a 7-6 victory.
Set three started no better. She fell behind 4-1 before winning five straight points.
“(She) came back and played really well at the end of that match to win,” McInerney said.
She excelled in the round of 16, defeating Cal junior Alice Duranteau, 6-2, 6-3.
“I think she likes it here, she’s done well in the past,” McInerney said.
This referred to her success as a freshman, when she won her way into the semifinals of the invitational round. McInerney said the same of Krawyczk, who played in Ojai in the juniors.
Sahagun will play against USC junior Giuliana Olmos, the third seed of the invitational bracket, in the quarterfinals Saturday.
Sophomore Stephanie Vlad had an unlucky pairing: in the first round, she faced USC junior Zoë Scandalis. The two played previously and Vlad lost, 7-5, 6-4.
She could not pull out a win in Ojai, falling 6-0, 6-1 to the No. 27 player.
Freshman Kassidy Jump, the third Sun Devil in the championship bracket, had a similarly tough pairing. She was against Stanford freshman Carol Zhao. These two had also played during the regular season, a match in which Jump fell, 7-5, 6-3.
She couldn’t improve her showing in this match and lost, 6-4, 6-1.
McInerney said she played well in general but got nervous in key situations, including when the score was tied 4-4 in the first set but Jump let it slip.
Junior Joanna Smith lost the first set of the day 7-6 but came out strong in sets two and three, winning them 6-3 and then 6-4.
She was defeated by Cal freshman Maegan Manasse, the No. 60 player nationally.
Sophomore Ebony Panoho was unable to get a victory, falling 7-5, 6-2 in her first match of the tournament.
Freshman Gussie O’Sullivan suffered a similar fate. She played a tight match in a 7-6 loss of set one, couldn’t put the pieces together in the second set and lost 6-1.
“Even though the score was 6-1 in the second set, I think … it was a little bit closer than the score,” McInerney said. “I thought she competed really well.”
Overall, McInerney said, it was a good day for the team, which played from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“A lot of kids had good results,” she said.
The first doubles match ASU competes in is Friday at 9 am.
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