ASU women's tennis bounced from Pac-12 Tournament

The Sun Devils lost a tight match against USC for the second time this season

A case of deja vu unfolded Thursday afternoon — for the second time in six days, ASU women’s tennis dropped a 4-3 decision to USC and exited the 2017 Pac-12 Tournament after one match.

The Sun Devils (14-7, 7-3 Pac-12) and Trojans (13-9, 6-4 Pac-12) were even at three points apiece after doubles and five singles matches at Ojai Valley Athletic Club in Ojai, Calif. The two Pac-12 rivals were tied 3-3 and a victory for USC on court four decided the match.

“I was really happy with the doubles, particularly with one and three,” head coach Sheila McInerney said. "The singles was a dogfight. It was a tough one to loose. We were right there, but hopefully this experience helps down the road."

With a spot in the semifinals on the line, senior Gussie O’Sullivan found herself entangled in the deciding match. After O’Sullivan claimed the first set 5-7, Trojan freshman Angela Kulikov won the final two sets, 7-5, 6-1. USC will face the winner of No. 2 seed California and No. 7 seed Washington in the semifinals.

The match against USC started with ASU winning the doubles.

Senior Kassidy Jump and sophomore Sammi Hampton defeated No. 80 Madison Westby and Kulikov on court three, 6-2. The Trojans court two pairing of senior Zoe Katz and junior Gabby Smith, ranked No. 48 in the latest International Tennis Association doubles rankings, defeated junior Kelley Anderson and freshman Savannah Slaysman, 6-2 to even up the doubles competition.

Senior Alex Osborne and junior Nicole Fossa-Huergo avenged a regular season loss to No. 41 sophomores Rianna Valdes and Jessica Failla and won the doubles point.

Jump headlined singles play for ASU. The Granite Bay, California native upset No. 37 sophomore Failla, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 on court one. Jump brought home a second upset over a ranked opponent since March 22.

Freshman Savannah Slaysman defeated Westby, 6-3, 7-5 and gave the Sun Devils a 2-0 lead. Smith, ranked No. 28 in the latest ITA singles rankings, defeated Hampton on court two, 6-2, 6-3 and got the Trojans on the board.

USC still needed three more wins to complete the comeback. Katz beat Fossa-Huergo in a hard-fought match on court four, 6-2, 7-6 (12) to tie the match. Valdes upset No. 109 Anderson, 6-4, 6-1 and gave USC a 3-2 lead.

Jump’s upset tied the match but O’Sullivan’s loss sent the Sun Devils home.

Up Next:

ASU will find out its seeding for the NCAA Tournament Tuesday, May 2 at 2:30 p.m.


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

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