Senior Desirae Krawczyk picked up the only win of the day for ASU tennis against No. 2 Ohio State Sunday, but it a big one.
Krawczyk pulled the upset over the nations' No. 1 player, freshman Francesca Di Lorenzo, but the 24th ranked Sun Devils suffered a 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Buckeyes in Columbus, OH.
"It wasn't the result we wanted but it's absolutely a great win for her," head coach Sheila McInerney said in a phone call. "She had been struggling a little bit as of late, this should be a big confidence builder."
Coming into the match ranked 36th nationally, Krawczyk won the first set 7-6 before Di Lorenzo grabbed the second set to force a ten-point tiebreaker. The Sun Devil senior took the tiebreaker 10-3 to earn the team's lone point of the match. Krawczyk has now split her two matches against top-ten opponents this season after falling to then No. 6 Luisa Stefani of Pepperdine on Feb. 15.
The day got off to an unusual start for ASU, which lost the doubles point for the first time in eight matches. Krawczyk and fellow senior Stephanie Vlad suffered the first defeat on the double courts. Juniors Gussie O'Sullivan and Kassidy Jump were unable to pick up the slack, losing a tough match, 7-5, as Ohio State secured the point.
"We've had some success in doubles, but it was a battle today, McInerney said. "Against a top team in the country like that everyone has to step up; we just didn't get it done."
In singles, Ohio State won four straight matches before Krawczyk stopped the bleeding with her upset over Di Lorenzo. Jump lost a tough match to Buckeye sophomore Anna Sanford in the third set while seniors Stephanie Vlad and Ebony Panoho each fell in straight sets.
Alexandra Osborne made her return to the top six, replacing freshman Sammi Hampton, who was held out of the lineup due to a foot injury.
Hampton has been a pleasant surprise for the Sun Devils this spring. After what she describes as an up and down fall season, the freshman has yet to lose a singles match during the spring at 7-0. McInerney compared the injury to the one Vlad suffered earlier in the season, and called Hampton doubtful for the teams' match next weekend.
"We're going to just have to wait and see with her, McInerney said. "Stephanie (Vlad) was out for a month with hers so hopefully it's not that serious, obviously we want her back as soon as we can."
It won't get any easier for the Sun Devils as they open up their Pac-12 schedule Friday against No. 1 California at home. It will be the first of five-straight conference games for ASU.
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