No. 29 ASU tennis dominates NAU in win

ASU doubles partners Kassidy Jump and Joanna Smith celebrate after a point. Jump and Smith played NAU's Hailey Rochin and Marta Lewandowska in an abandoned match. (Morgan Hipps/The State Press) ASU doubles partners Kassidy Jump and Joanna Smith celebrate after a point. Jump and Smith played NAU's Hailey Rochin and Marta Lewandowska in an abandoned match. (Morgan Hipps/The State Press)

The Sun Devils (4-2) made quick work of NAU, ultimately winning by a final score of 7-0.

Sophomore Kassidy Jump said the team takes a similar approach to each game, regardless of the talent its opponent may possess.

“I mean, every match is important, and each match is just as important as all of the other matches after,” Jump said. “I think it’s important that we, kind of like (coach) Sheila (McInerney) says, ‘Keep our foot on the gas pedal and finish.’”

The team would take heed of its head coach’s words this week, getting ahead early and never looking back.

After getting off to a slow start during the doubles session in its previous match against BYU, the team turned it around this week, enforcing its will early on.

Junior Ebony Panoho and sophomore Alex Osborne quickly defeated NAU’s No. 3 pairing of junior Jordan Denesik and freshman Livia Hollosy by a score of 6-0. Juniors Desirae Krawczyk and Stephanie Vlad followed suit defeating NAU senior Johanna Vang and junior Emelia Box 6-0 to notch the doubles session point for the Sun Devils.

The doubles portion of the day lasted a mere 22 minutes.

The team has now captured all six possible points from doubles sessions during the dual-match season.

During the singles matches, the team didn’t flounder its chance to put its counterpart away, as all six players won in straight sets.

Vlad continued her strong form, shutting out NAU sophomore Hailey Rochin 6-0, 6-0 for the team’s first win of the session.

The results weren’t too different the rest of the way.

Krawczyk would defeat Vang 6-4, 6-1; senior Joanna Smith defeated sophomore Marta Lewandowska 6-1, 6-2; Panoho defeated Denesik 6-0, 6-2; sophomore Gussie O’Sullivan defeated freshman Meike Vorschel 6-1, 6-0; and sophomore Kassidy Jump defeated Box 6-2, 7-5.

The result marks the third time in two seasons that the Sun Devils have swept their opposition from the north.

As the team’s focus turns to a pivotal stretch of the season, the players have expressed that they are more than ready and confident to move forward into the most hectic part of the dual-match schedule.

Despite a small winning streak, Krawczyk says the team is not allowing itself to have its head in the clouds with tougher competition on the way.

“(Winning back-to-back games) definitely helps,” she said. “But doing our basics right and making first serves and doing our patterns is basically what we need to focus on.”

McInerney said that the win was a nice way to close out the first third of the season, with her focus on the next part of the year, too.

“Now we know moving forward, we’ve got a lot of work to do, so it’s gonna be really important that we stay match tough and stay healthy, eat well, rest well—all that, because we do have a lot coming up,” she said. “It’s sort of unusual to only have played six matches this far into the season—at one point I think we have about nine matches in 15 days coming up—so I think it’ll be good for us, because the girls are looking forward to playing more matches.”

Next weekend the team will face San Francisco on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 12 p.m. The team will then face No. 28 Pepperdine on Sunday, March 1 at 11 a.m. Both matches will be in Tempe.

 

Reach the reporter at kajone31@asu.edu or follow @kaelenjones on Twitter.

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