ASU tennis wins its eighth straight game

The Sun Devils defeated Washington thanks to wins from senior leaders Stephanie Vlad and Ebony Panoho.

Senior day for ASU tennis isn't until Saturday, but a couple seniors decided to get a head start on the celebration.

The No. 26 Sun Devils extended their season-high winning streak to eight games with a 4-1 win over Washington Friday at the Whiteman Tennis Center.  ASU got wins from seniors Stephanie Vlad and Ebony Panoho down the stretch to improve to 5-1 in Pac-12 play and 14-4 overall.

"I thought it was a big win for us getting back in the Pac-12, said head coach Sheila McInerney. "Washington's an under-ranked team, so we'll certainly take it, especially with a couple seniors clinching like that."

ASU got off to a good start against a Huskies team that has historically had the its number in doubles.  Seniors Desirae Krawczyk and her partner Vlad secured the early lead with a 6-2 win on court two.  It was the first doubles win against Washington in three years for the Sun Devils.

"We knew coming in how good they are in doubles, so I thought it was very important to start strong," said Vlad. "We came out and did that so I couldn't be more proud."

Singles didn't start quite as well as junior Kassidy Jump suffered the team's lone loss on her birthday (6-2, 6-3) to Washington's Stacey Fung. Freshman Sammi Hampton would give ASU the upper hand once again with a win on court five to stake the Sun Devils to a 2-1 lead.

ASU's seniors would take over from there.  Vlad followed up her doubles win earlier in the day with a dominating 6-1, 6-2 victory on the fourth singles court.  With fellow senior Krawczyk laboring on court one, Panoho clinched the team competition on court number three with a win in straight sets. 

"A little bit nervous there at the end because I could kind of see it was going to come down to my match whether we clinch or not," Panoho said. "But to get that last point, yeah, it was a great feeling."

Krawczyk and junior Gussie O'Sullivan each had their matches abandoned as the team competition had been secured. 

ASU will get right back to work tomorrow afternoon for senior day against No. 62 Washington State.  It will be the final home match for seniors Krawczyk, Vlad and Panoho, who will each be honored before play begins. First serve is slated for noon.


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

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