Tennis beats Boise, upset by Pepperdine in Malibu

The past weekend proved to be disappointing for the No. 21 ASU women’s tennis team after losing to No. 30 Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif.

On Saturday, the Sun Devils (4-2) beat Boise State 6–1, losing only one match.

“We did well against Boise,” coach Sheila McInerney said. “They were a good team and played well against us.”

On Sunday, however, Pepperdine (5-3) defeated ASU 5–2 in what McInerney called a tough loss.

“Yesterday was disappointing,” she said.

Saturday began with ASU quickly taking the doubles point and winning all three matches.

The pair of senior Michelle Brycki and freshman Joanna Smith dominated Boise State’s (5-3) sophomore team of Morgan Basil and Sandy Vo, 8–1.

On the singles court, freshman Leighann Sahagun defeated freshman Kaitlyn Brown, 6–1, 6–0.

Sahagun struggled with an injury earlier in the season and has recovered well.

“The more matches she plays, the better she gets, and the more she’ll know what to work on,” McInerney said.

Brycki, sophomore Jacqueline Cako, senior Sianna Simmons and freshman Joanna Smith also won their singles match.

Junior Nicole Smith didn’t play because her knee, which is still recovering from a long-term injury, was bothering her.

Junior Hannah James dropped her match to Vo 6–3, 2–3 (ret.) after a back-and-forth set.

“Hannah worked hard, just couldn’t quite finish it,” McInerney said.

On Sunday, the Sun Devils squared off against Pepperdine, believing they could take the win.

The day got off to a rough start on the doubles court.

“Yesterday was probably the most competitive doubles point we’ve had this season,” McInerney said. “You rarely have two tie breakers and a 9–7.”

The duo of Simmons and Sahagun won the only doubles match against Pepperdine, taking down sophomores Ale Granillo and Megan Moore, 9–7.

The two other doubles matches went to a tie breaker, where the pairs of No. 7 Cako and James, and Brycki and Joanna Smith fell.

“The key was that we couldn’t get sidetracked by the doubles losses,” McInerney said. “We couldn’t let that affect the rest of our play.”

In singles, Cako and Joanna Smith were the only ASU players able to take a victory.

Cako defeated No. 95 Granillo 6–0, 6–2 and Joanna Smith beat senior Ali Walters 6–2, 6–4.

In a grueling three-set match, Brycki lost to redshirt senior Khunpak Issara 7–5, 4–6, 1–0 (10–5).

“Michelle was up 3–2, but we had to leave to not miss the plane,” McInerney said. “I have a lot of confidence in Michelle, so who knows what would have happened.”

Simmons, Sahagun and James also lost their singles matches.

McInerney said that despite the disappointment, she’s pleased with how the team played.

“At this point, we have to be ready for every match to be a tough one,” she said. “We were resilient and competed well against Pepperdine.”

The Sun Devils will face Sacramento State in Tempe on March 2.

“This week we have a quick turnaround, with only three days of practice, but everyone knows what they need to work on,” McInerney said. “Certainly we were disappointed. We lost a tough match, but we just need to get ready for the next one.”


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