Stanford shuts out ASU women's tennis 4-0

The Sun Devils almost captured the doubles point, but the Cardinal dominated singles play

ASU women’s tennis was shutout by defending national champion Stanford on Friday afternoon at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

The No. 45 Sun Devils (7-4, 2-1) almost captured the doubles point on court two. However, the No. 4 Cardinal won singles matches in straight sets on courts five, four and three, in that order, to claim the victory, 4-0. ASU upset Stanford a year ago, in Tempe, but Stanford took care of business at home.

"We could have easily won the doubles point," head coach Sheila McInerney said. "We made too many unforced errors at one. Savannah and Kelley competed great on court three."

ASU came into doubles with two teams ranked inside the International Tennis Association top-60, while Stanford had one. The Sun Devils had an edge on paper, but that rarely matters, especially against a quality Stanford team.

When doubles began, Senior Alex Osborne and junior Nicole-Fossa Huergo, ranked No. 44 in the nation, gave senior Taylor Davidson and freshman Emily Arbuthnott all they could handle early, but lost the match, 6-3.

Stanford needed one more win to clinch the doubles point.

The Cardinal knew that ASU would come out strong in the doubles, and competitive matches on courts two and three supplied proof.

On court three, senior Kassidy Jump and sophomore Sammi Hampton, ranked No. 59 in the nation, earned possibly their biggest win of the season. The second-year pairing earned their second-straight win, by defeating sophomore Caroline Lampl and freshman Emma Higuchi, 6 games to 4.

With doubles tied up at one match apiece, court two would decide who struck first blood and the match didn't disappoint.

Junior Kelley Anderson and freshman Savannah Slaysman were down 4-2 against No. 29 senior Caroline Doyle and sophomore Melissa Lord, the Cardinal’s only ranked pairing. But thanks to strong net play and a break of serve to tie the match at 5-all, Anderson and Slaysman fought back.

Doyle and Lord broke right back and moved within one game of claiming victory, 6-5. But Stanford coughed up a two match-point opportunities at 40-40, and the match moved to a deciding tiebreak. ASU held a 5-3 lead, but thanks to a couple of unforced errors, Stanford came back to tie, and eventually won the match, 7-5.

It was a gut wrenching defeat for the Sun Devils, one that gave Stanford momentum heading into singles.

ASU presents many challenges for their opponents in doubles and the same can be said for Stanford in singles, as all six of its players are ranked inside the top 73.

The Cardinal put their might on display early, winning three first-sets 6-1, and they didn’t look back.

"I don't think we came out as strong in the singles as we needed to, and there is certainly no excuse for that," McInerney said. "To our credit, I thought we rebounded pretty well in the second set. We had some chances to make it a little more competitive, but unfortunately we didn't."

Arbuthnott put Stanford ahead, with a 6-1, 6-2, victory over Slaysman on court five. In a matchup of ranked players, Lord (No. 13) defeated Anderson (No. 70), 6-1, 6-4 on court three, putting the Cardinal one win away from clinching the match. Lampl closed out the match and defeated Fossa-Huergo 6-3, 6-2.

Up Next:

ASU will close out a back-to-back road set with top-15 opponents on Saturday against No. 12 Cal (8-3, 2-1) at noon.


Reach the reporter at jpjacqu1@asu.edu or follow @joejacquezaz on Twitter.

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