April 6, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. -
For just the third time the season, the No. 22 Arizona State Sun Devils (15-3; 5-2 Pac-12) women's tennis team suffered defeat, at the hands of UCLA 5-2, on Saturday afternoon at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe, Ariz.
"It's never easy to lose, especially when you're at home. The weather was at our advantage, it was a little hot this weekend so when you have those things going in your favor you want to come away with a win for sure," ASU Head Coach Sheila McInerney said.
Arizona State was forced to give up the first point before the match even started, forfeiting the No. 6 singles spot due to injury. When the lineup was written on the grease board, Desirae Krawczyk's name was noticeably missing -- the freshman who normally plays at the No. 2 singles position sat out of the day's match as a precaution to potential injury on her leg.
The previous match against USC, in which ASU did not win even a single set, left a horrid taste in the mouth of each and every player. The team as a whole was committed to improving their game in a quick turn around, and they did just that securing the doubles point against UCLA to tie the match at one all.
Seniors Jacqueline Cako and Nicole Smith, paired at No. 40 overall, defeated the No. 3 singles player in the nation, Robin Anderson and her partner Skylar Morton by a score of 8-4. On the No. 3 court, the sophomore-senior pairing of Leighann Sahagun and Hannah James secured the match point with an 8-5 victory over Catherine Harrison and Pamela Montez.
"I thought we came out with a lot more energy (than yesterday) in the doubles, I was really happy with the way we played doubles and I thought all three teams played very well," McInerney said.
But singles play was a different story -- UCLA was able to win four of the five matches played, clinching the overall match win on the No. 4 court.
"It just goes to show you that the doubles point is important but it's certainly not the end all," McInerney said. "We were competitive in a lot of these matches. Joanna (Smith) had some chances to win the first set, Hannah (James) had some chances to get back into that second set. I think we had more belief than we did yesterday."
The one bright spot of the weekend came on the main stage for Senior Jacqueline Cako. Ranked No. 23 in the country, Cako defeated No. 3 Robin Anderson with no question in two sets 6-2, 6-3, earning the sole singles point for her team.
The highly ranked Bruin was no match for Cako's strength on Saturday afternoon. Especially after losing the day prior in a match Cako called "horrible."
"I did returns by myself for 45 minutes after that match yesterday," senior Jacqueline Cako said. "I go out there when I am beyond frustrated. I hate to lose and I wanted to come out and play better than I did yesterday because the match yesterday was unacceptable in my eyes."
From beneath her Sun Devil visor, McInerney echoed the same sentiment.
"Psychologically it's great, Robin (Anderson) is ranked in the top-5 so it's a great win for Jacqueline (Cako) for sure. It's something she has worked hard for and with our toughest competition at the end of the season she had a tough one against today and an even tougher one yesterday."
Arizona State continues conference play when the Golden Bears of California make their way to Tempe, Ariz. for a mid-afternoon matchup on Friday April 12. Competition gets even tougher with Stanford the following day.
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#9 UCLA 5 :: #22 Arizona State 2
Whiteman Tennis Center
12:00 p.m. MST
1. Nicole Smith/Jacqueline Cako (ASU) def. Kyle McPhillips/Skylar Morton (UCLA) 8-4
2. Robin Anderson/Courtney Dolehide (UCLA) def. Ebony Panoho/Joanna Smith (ASU) 8-6
3. Leighann Sahagun/Hannah James (ASU) def. Catherine Harrison/Pamela Montez (UCLA) 8-5
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1. Jacqueline Cako (ASU) def. Robin Anderson (UCLA) 6-2, 6-3
2. Kyle McPhillips (UCLA) def. Leighann Sahagun (ASU) 6-3, 7-5
3. Catherine Harrison (UCLA) def. Hannah James (ASU) 6-3, 6-4
4. Courtney Dolehide (UCLA) def. Joanna Smith (ASU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Kaitlin Ray (UCLA) def. Ebony Panoho (ASU) 6-0, 6-4
6. Skylar Morton (UCLA) def. Forfeit (ASU)
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 1, 3, 4, 2