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ASU women's tennis ends fall season at Thunderbird Invitational

The Sun Devils hosted the first home tournament of the season over the weekend

thunderbird tennis photo

ASU sophomore Giulia Morlet serves the ball during a doubles match against USC at the Whiteman Tennis Center on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.

The ASU women's tennis team ended its fall season at the Thunderbird Invitational held on Nov. 5 through Nov. 7, with senior Domenika Turkovic going undefeated in both singles and doubles.

The team's goal for this tournament was to end the fall season on a high note at home before starting its spring season.  

"I think we played better on Sunday than we did on Friday and I think that's always the goal from a coaching standpoint," head coach Sheila McInerney said.

ASU competed against the University of California, Berkeley, USC, Auburn University, University of Michigan, Ohio State University and the University of San Diego in its last tournament before next spring.

Doubles partners, Turkovic and freshman Patricija Spaka, won all of their matches over the weekend. She and Spaka became first-time doubles partners at the tournament.

"I think we had a really good energy even though it was the first time we played together but we really understand each other on the court, we know who is going where, who is hitting the ball and our energy is super high," said Turkovic who went 6-0 on the weekend in both singles and doubles matches. "I love it."

Spaka added that playing with Turkovic has been fun, especially on Sunday when they won their match to complete their perfect record over the weekend. 

The tournament was the first and only tournament at home this fall. For Spaka, it was her first time playing at the Whiteman Tennis Center. 

"For me as a freshman this was a new experience because this was the first tournament at home and I was really excited for it," Spaka said. "I think we did really good as a team and we did everything we could in singles and doubles too and our level has improved so much."

Senior Sedona Gallagher went undefeated on the first day. Gallagher and sophomore Giulia Morlet competed as doubles partners, winning their matches on Friday and Sunday, but losing on Saturday. Morlet forced a third set in her singles game Sunday, coming back from being one set down but ultimately losing to Cal's sophomore Hannah Viller Moeller

On Sunday the team had its overall best performance, winning three singles matches and both doubles matches.  

Sophomore Marianna Argyrokastriti went 1-1 on Saturday and won her singles match on Sunday. Sophomore Natasha Hill, who only competed on Sunday, also contributed to the team's singles wins.

The Sun Devils faced off against some included on the ITA's top-125 preseason singles rankings — Cal junior Valentina Ivanov and senior Julia Rosenqvist, USD redshirt junior Solymar Colling and redshirt sophomore Elizabeth Goldsmith and OSU senior Isabelle Boulais. Morlet and Gallagher are also on the preseason single's rankings. 

Prior to Thunderbird Invitational, the last tournament the Sun Devils competed in was the ITA Southwest Regional Championship in San Diego, California, which finished up on Oct. 25.

The team started the season with the Cal Invitational, and throughout the season saw its players finish well in tournaments.

The team is expected to start facing opponents again in January to open up its spring season. 

"I think it's a good way to end the fall season with this tournament, for most teams this is their last tournament in the fall so it's a great way to end," McInerney said. "All the teams we had was an NCAA qualifier last year so I think the competition was amazing, and the players got really tough matches."

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