ASU tennis sees improvement at Cal Nike Invite

Sophomore Joanna Smith hits with an underhand swing during a practice prior to the Wolverine Invitational. (Photo by Kyle Newman)

The ASU tennis team returned home after collecting several wins at the Cal Nike Invitational in Berkeley, Calif.

Freshmen Stephanie Vlad and Desirae Krawczyk lost each of their first singles matches, but senior Hannah James and sophomore Joanna Smith both won on Friday.

James and Smith advanced to the Round of 16, but lost to USC and Cal, respectively.

In doubles, both teams played well and advanced to the overall Gold ITA Doubles semifinals on Saturday. The freshmen duo lost to No. 1 Cal’s team of junior Anett Schutting and senior Annie Goransson 8-5, and the team of James/Smith fell to Saint Mary’s 8-5 as well.

All four singles players competed in the consolations on the second day. Vlad defeated Minnesota senior Doron Muravnik 6-3, 6-0 on Friday.

James beat Nevada sophomore Rymma Maslova 6-1, 6-1; Smith lost to Saint Mary’s sophomore Danielle Flores 6-4, 6-2 and Krawczyk defeated BYU sophomore Morgan Anderson 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday.

Vlad advanced to the consolation finals where the match was never played against USC senior Alex Zaniewski on Sunday, but was ruled a Trojan victory.

James and Smith upset the No. 2 ranked doubles team from Fresno State 8-2 and the Sun Devils team of freshmen upset the No. 4 overall doubles team from USC 8-4.

This tennis team did not look like the same team from a week ago, where they struggled to win in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the Wolverine Invitational.

The way the four girls played over the weekend shows a lot of potential for this year, which could prove to be a promising year.

Vlad had flipped a switch going from not being able to close out her close matches in Michigan, to advancing to the semifinals with her doubles partner and to the finals of the consolation singles. If she keeps up this great play, the Sun Devils could prove to be an under-the-radar team to look out for come January.

Once the freshmen get into their groove and when elite junior Jacqueline Cako rejoins the team, the Sun Devils are expected to be a force in the Pac-12.


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