April 20, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. -It was all smiles for the No. 22 Arizona State women's tennis team on Senior Day against the University of Arizona at the Whiteman Tennis Center. All three seniors, Jacqueline Cako, Hannah James and Nicole Smith were able to earn wins attributing to the 4-3 win over the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon and win a Territorial Cup point in tennis for the Sun Devils. ASU now leads UA 7.5-5.5 in total Territorial Cup standings.
"Certainly when you play your rival you want to come away with a win so we're really happy with the win," ASU Head Coach Sheila McInerney said. "Before this we had four tough matches at home against top-10 teams so it's nice to end your season at home against your rivals on senior day."
Arizona State opened the day with three wins on the doubles courts clinching the first match point. Joanna Smith and Hannah James won the first match of the day eight to love. Leighann Sahagun and Desirae Krawczyk followed their win up with a win of their own, defeating Kim Stubbe and Akilah James 8-3. And the senior pairing of Nicole Smith and Jacqueline Cako rounded out the last match defeating Lacey Smyth and Shayne Austin 8-4.
"I thought we really played well in the doubles -- I think that was a good boost of momentum going into the singles play. Obviously that point ended up being important and I was just really impressed with all three courts," McInerney said.
As the Sun Devil fight song echoed off the bleachers, ASU emerged from the locker room after the doubles with a look of determination in their eye. Not only was it senior day, but also the final conference match of the regular season. The Sun Devils were ranked fifth overall in the Pac-12 at the beginning of the match, and looking to sieze any opportunity to improve upon that ranking.
Performance in singles play matched the look of determination -- ASU captured three of the singles matches, which combined with the doubles point were enough to clinch the match overall. Both seniors, Jacqueline Cako and Hannah James were able to earn wins in their final performances on the familiar green courts of Whiteman.
"It feels great, obviously I wanted to win my last match at home ever -- going out there I did not want to lose at all today. I wanted to be able to know that I played my last match well," senior Jacqueline Cako said. "I ended up playing well even though I was down 3-1 in the second set, but I just started going after it and played very well, so it was good."
Immediately following Cako's win, senior Hannah James defeated her Wildcat opponent on the No. 5 court in two identical sets, 6-3, to secure the match victory for ASU. Not too long after, the new Victory bell made its first appearance at center court.
"It's nice to see two seniors win their singles matches, and on top of that get wins in their doubles matches as well," McInerney said. "Like I said before the match, when the stakes are the highest Hannah (James) seems to play her best tennis."
Arizona State will take some to recover and practice before Pac-12 Championships and NCAA Qualifiers begin in the next few weeks. Be sure to Like Arizona State University Women's Tennis on Facebook and stick with thesundevils.com for all of the latest details.
#22 Arizona State 4 :: #67 Arizona 3
Whiteman Tennis Center
1:00 p.m. MST
1. Nicole Smith/Jacqueline Cako (ASU) def. Lacey Smyth/Shayne Austin (UA) 8-4
2. Leighann Sahagun/Desirae Krawczyk (ASU) def. Kim Stubbe/Akilah James (UA) 8-3
3. Joanna Smith/Hannah James (ASU) def. Susan McRann/Laura Oldham (UA) 8-0
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1. Jacqueline Cako (ASU) def. Lacey Smyth (UA) 6-3, 6-3
2. Kim Stubbe (UA) def. Desirae Krawczyk (ASU) 6-0, 6-3
3. Laura Oldham (UA) def. Leighann Sahagun (ASU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Akilah James (UA) def. Stephanie Vlad (ASU) 7-5, 6-0
5. Hannah James (ASU) def. Susan McRann (UA) 6-3, 6-3
6. Joanna Smith (ASU) def. Inge Hendrikx (UA) 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 2, 1, 5*, 4, 3