By Shayne Dwyer, SDA Media Relations
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The No. 26 Arizona State women's tennis team fell to Northwestern University 4-0 in the second round of the ITA Kick Off Weekend on Sunday afternoon in Evanston, Ill.
"It's disappointing not to come away with a win and advance to the National Team Indoors but with that being said Northwestern played very well today and deserved the victory," Arizona State head coach Sheila McInerney said.
To start the morning, the Sun Devils were unable to capture any victories in doubles play, losing on both the first and second courts, while the third match featuring Desirae Krawczyk and Kassidy Jump was left unfinished at a five-five tie.
On the first court, Leighann Sahagun and Joanna Smith fell to Veronica Corning and Alicia Barnett 6-4. On the second court, Ebony Panoho and Stephanie Vlad fell to Maddie Lipp and Nida Hamilton 7-6 (4).
"We played well in the doubles but couldn't quite pull it out and Northwestern seemed to gain confidence after securing the point," McInerney said.
In singles, Northwestern won on the third and first courts, clinching the fourth point on the sixth court to secure the overall match victory. The singles matches on courts two, four and five were left unfinished.
Alicia Barnett captured the first win over Leighann Sahagun 6-2, 6-3 to open singles play, and then unranked Veronica Corning defeated No. 50 Stephanie Vlad 6-3, 6-2.
Northwestern's Manon Peri clinched the match victory for the Wildcats on court six, topping Arizona State's Alexandra Osborne in two sets 6-3, 6-1.
"They (Northwestern) really took it to us in the singles with their aggressive play," McInerney said. "They were the better team today."
Despite the loss, McInerney noted that sophomore Ebony Panoho has utilized every match this season as a building block for later down the road.
"I thought Ebony played well in both singles and doubles today. She is improving by the day and Ebony is competing at a very high level," McInerney said.
No. 15 Northwestern vs. No. 26 Arizona State
#1 – Veronica Corning (Northwestern) def. No. 50 Stephanie Vlad (Arizona State) 6-3, 6-2
#2 – No. 105 Belinda Niu (Northwestern) vs. No. 91 Desirae Krawczyk (Arizona State) 6-2, 2-1 (unfinished)
#3 – Alicia Barnett (Northwestern) def. Leighann Sahagun (Arizona State) 6-2, 6-3
#4 – Lok Sze Leung (Northwestern) vs. Ebony Panoho (Arizona State) 7-5, 3-0 (unfinished)
#5 – Jillian Rooney (Northwestern) vs. Kassidy Jump (Arizona State) 6-3, 4-6 (unfinished)
#6 – Manon Peri (Northwestern) def. Alexandra Osborne (Arizona State) 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 6*
#1 – No. 35 Veronica Corning / Alicia Barnett (Northwestern) def. Leighann Sahagun / Joanna Smith (Arizona State) 6-4
#2 – Maddie Lipp / Nida Hamilton (Northwestern) def. Ebony Panoho / Stephanie Vlad (Arizona State) 7-6 (4)
#3 – Belinda Niu / Brooke Rischbieth (Northwestern) vs. Desirae Krawczyk / Kassidy Jump (Arizona State) 5-5 (unfinished)
Order of Finish: 1, 2*