Clutch win from O'Sullivan lifts ASU tennis over No. 20 Stanford

ASU picked up just its second win against Stanford in over three decades thanks to a clutch win down the stretch.

With the score deadlocked at three points apiece, junior Gussie O'Sullivan found herself with a chance to knock off a perennial powerhouse in the Pac-12 conference, and she delivered.

O'Sullivan grabbed a winner-take-all third and final set on court number six to lift No. 36 ASU tennis over No. 20 Stanford 4-3 Saturday at the Whiteman Tennis Center.

"I knew how much it meant to everyone, so I got a little bit nervous," O'Sullivan said. "But to win that last set, that's the best feeling I've had in my time here."

It was just the second win for ASU against Stanford since head coach Sheila McInerney took over the program in 1984. The team's last win against the Cardinal came in 2008. McInerney said it was an emotional win for not just her but the entire team.

"I was just really happy for the girls to be able to have that moment, some of them were getting a little chocked up, which is nice", she said. "You play college sports to win a match like this with your team."

The Sun Devils got off to a good start, taking the doubles point behind a big upset on court number one. Senior Ebony Panoho and junior Alexandra Osborne shocked the No. 3 duo in the country of Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle, grabbing a 6-3 win.

It was the second time this season that Panoho and Osborne have upset a top three pairing.  The two Sun Devils defeated Pepperdine's third-ranked duo of Matea Cutura and Christine Maddox on Feb 15.

"We're communicating really well right now," Panoho said. "We've been together a couple years, but it's really coming together this year for us."

In singles, the top two courts did their part for the second straight day. Senior Desirae Krawczyk made quick work of No. 24 Taylor Davidson 7-6, 6-3 while junior Kassidy Jump earned a win in three sets over Stanford junior Caroline Doyle. 

Freshman Sammi Hampton made a surprise return to the lineup after being ruled out for the weekend with a foot injury. Hampton won her doubles match with Jump before suffering a rare loss on court number five in singles. McInerney said while they didn't plan on having Hampton play today, it was big that she did.

"She (Hampton) just felt she was ready to go, so we thought we might as well throw her in there and see what happens," McInerney said. "But she was huge for us getting the win in doubles and then battling in singles."

The Sun Devils finished 1-1 on the weekend after Friday's loss to No. 2 California. The team now gets a few days off before heading to Boulder, CO for a road matchup with Colorado Friday.


Reach the reporter at mfaye@asu.edu or follow @mattGfaye on Twitter.

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