ASU tennis's cold stretch fades as Sun Devils return to desert
No. 23 ASU women's tennis recovered from its losing streak in a 4-0 victory against No. 73 Colorado.
The first court Sun Devils doubles team of sophomore Desirae Krawczyk and freshman Alex Osborne led the charge, winning their set 8-4.
“Our No. 1 team played really well,” ASU coach Sheila McInerney said.
Sophomores Stephanie Vlad and Ebony Panoho were not able to do the same. They lost 4-8 in an uncontested match. The point went through junior Leighann Sahagun and freshman Kassidy Jump in a tight match.
They traded points with their opponents, eventually tying the match at five before taking a 6-5 lead. The score switched back and forth until the teams were tied at seven, pushing the match into a tiebreaker round.
Holding a tight lead in this, Sahagun went to swing at a high ball and shouted “up.” Her opponents, hearing “out,” did not play the ball. This led to an argument between the line judge and Colorado players.
“The ball was like a foot and a half in, there was no reason for me to say out,” Sahagun said.
She could be heard yelling similar remarks during the spat, but McInerney noticed she was getting furious and forced her to step back and calm down.
ASU pulled away after this. McInerney said they were more aggressive and took more risks. Sahagun added that the argument may have given them the mental edge to win the point 7-3.
After, the Sun Devils started strong in singles.
“After winning the doubles point in the tiebreaker, we had some momentum,” McInerney said. "We came out and played quite well in the singles.”
No. 60 Vlad recovered from a stretch of three consecutive losses.
"At that position, you’re going to suffer some losses,” McInerney said. “For her to done as well as she has so far, it’s a credit to her.”
After a slow start, Vlad took advantage of the unranked Colorado opponent, junior Julyette Steur.
Vlad fell behind 1-2 but quickly caught up and pushed ahead. She won her first set 6-3.
Vlad said she started slow and was down on her game, but worked on spreading the balls throughout the court. She hit her spots and gained a positive mentality as the match went on, eventually winning her second set 6-1 and putting ASU up by a pair of points.
It was her first victory in two and a half weeks.
Vlad was not the only player who recovered after struggling as of late. Sahagun pulled ahead and got the clinching point for ASU in a 6-0, 6-1 match.
Sahagun said she had a game plan coming into the match because she had played against the same opponent in her freshman year, but was working on not hitting the ball as hard.
“I was trying to be steady, get more balls in and it really worked out well,” she said.
No. 81 Krawczyk continued played well. She shut out her opponent in the first set and took a 4-1 lead in set two.
She stumbled, and her lead was cut to 4-3.
She got mad at a line judge call, and that was the end for her opponent senior Winde Janssens. Krawczyk won 6-3.
ASU will next take on No. 31 Utah on Saturday in a televised match and looks to regain a winning streak.
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