As a result of solid regular season finish and resounding victories in the Pac-12 championship, sophomore Desirae Krawczyk has been selected to compete in the 2014 NCAA Division I Singles Championships.
“I’m excited,” Krawczyk said. “I’m nervous, but it’s more like adrenaline. It’s a good nervous.”
She said she didn’t necessarily expect herself to get in at the beginning of the season, but it was a goal from the start.
“I just had a goal,” she said. “Just play my best throughout each match and do my best to help my teammates and myself.”
She got in through her improvements in all aspects of her game. Her ball placement and serves have improved and she developed a fierce groundstroke. Additionally, ASU coach Sheila McInerney said her forehand and backhand game has improved, along with her mental capabilities.
“She’s just gotten mentally better. She understands the game better, the strategy of the game,” McInerney said.
Krawczyk agreed with that statement.
“(I’ve) been using my patterns and using my strengths to help me win matches and play better,” she said.
Through improvement, Krawczyk went 20-3 on the second court for ASU in a season that included a 16-0 streak. At the beginning of the season, Krawczyk was ranked No. 91. She fell off the rankings in early February, but rose to No. 55 after a scorching finish to the month and a strong March. In those two months, she won 10 consecutive matches.
Krawczyk is among 16 Pac-12 players represented in the tournament. She has played against No. 11 freshman Jennifer Brady of UCLA, No. 19 senior Anett Schutting of Cal, No. 40 freshman Taylor Davidson of Stanford, No. 54 sophomore Krista Hardebeck of Stanford and No. 34 freshman Kyle McPhillips of UCLA.
Krawczyk has defeated Davidson, Hardebeck and McPhillips. Her loss to Brady came after a mid-match injury.
Prior to the Pac-12 championships, McInerney said Krawczyk was on the bubble and would have to perform well to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament. Krawczyk did.
In the tournament, she defeated McPhillips and Davidson before losing to Schutting in the quarterfinals.
The individual NCAA tournament will be held on Wednesday morning. The team tournament will be on May 9.
ASU (18-7) comes into this ranked No. 24, and will take on No. 50 Princeton (18-5) in the first round.
The Tigers are led by junior Lindsey Graff and No. 107 freshman Alanna Wolff.
“Princeton traditionally has some of the best kids in the country,” McInerney said. “They’re certainly very talented and we’re going to have to play well.”
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