Seniors lead ASU tennis past Washington State in final home match

ASU grabbed its ninth straight win and second of the weekend Saturday on senior day.

ASU tennis' three seniors made the most of their final home matches of their careers on Saturday afternoon.

The No. 26 Sun Devils battled to a 6-1 win over No. 62 Washington State on senior day behind singles wins from each member of the graduating class. Seniors Desirae Krawczyk, Stephanie Vlad and Ebony Panoho were all victorious in singles to help the Sun Devils improve to 6-1 in Pac-12 play and 15-4 overall.

"Today it really just came down to the seniors being great for us," said head coach Sheila McInerney. "I think their pride came out a little bit today, they really wanted to sweep this last home weekend."

The win did exactly that for ASU after taking down Washington 4-1 on Friday. The team picked up its sixth straight conference win and ninth in-a-row overall. 

ASU continued its dominance in doubles this season to start things off. Junior Kassidy Jump and freshman Sammi Hampton were off quick on court number three with a 6-3 win, which was the 15th consecutive victory for the duo. The 22nd-ranked pairing of Panoho and junior Alexandra Osborne guaranteed the point soon after by the same score on court one.  The Sun Devils have now taken 17 of the 19 doubles points this spring, including 10 straight. 

"It was a big point once again, any match you play you want to get that point to start off," Panoho said. "But for Alex and I to contribute like that on senior day is special for sure."

Vlad got ASU's first singles win with a dominating victory in straight sets over freshman Aneta Miksovska of WSU. Gussie O'Sullivan followed with a win of her own to take the Sun Devils to a 3-0 lead.

Vlad won each of her final home two matches over the weekend in straight sets for the Sun Devils.  McInerney said it was an impressive way for the senior to end her home career.

"I thought Steph was a trooper today, she just played great," McInerney said. "She was quick off the court all weekend and that girl she played today was very good, so I was happy to see that."

Although the final score might not indicate it, the Sun Devils had to grind through three third-set matches down the stretch.  After Jump suffered the lone loss of the day on court number two, Hampton picked up the slack on court five with a 6-0 win in the third set.  The win wrapped up the team competition as Krawczyk and Pahono battled through third sets of their own.

Both Krawczyk and Panoho would pick up the win to end their home careers. Krawczyk got a chance to look back on her career after the match.

"From freshman year to senior year I've just transformed so much as a player," she said. "Sheila has done an amazing job here...these are people I'm going to have lifelong connections with."

ASU will now get some time off before hitting the road for a couple tough matches in southern California.  The Sun Devils will take on No. 20 UCLA April 8 before a matchup with No. 27 USC the next day.


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

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