Sahagun Survives Marathon Singles Match to Help ASU Blank San Jose State
TEMPE, Ariz.—With an exclamation point coming from a gritty three and a half hour singles match by sophomore Leighann Sahagun, the Arizona State women’s tennis team (4-1, 0-0 Pac-12) blanked the San Jose State Spartans, 7-0, at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe, Ariz., Wednesday.
With the team match easily in hand it would be easy to let her individual game go to the way side, but Sahagun gutted out a tough second set to come back and win in a tie breaker to preserve the Arizona State shutout.
“After I lost the second set I realized she was making a lot of mistakes and I tried to stay calm,” said Sahagun. “I took my time and tried to play my points smart. Instead of trying to go for big shots right away, I tried to wear her out.”
And wear San Jose State’s Sabi Leon Chao she did. Sahagun and Chao battled to tie breaker in the second set, with the tiebreaker heading into the double digits. Because the match had already been decided in Arizona State’s favor, the two players went into a super-tiebreaker where Sahagun came out victorious 10-3.
“I feel liked everyone gained more confidence and I’ve gained a lot more confidence because I was able to run down so many more balls,” said Sahagun. “I might have not gotten to them last year. I got a lot tougher.”
Overall, head coach Sheila McInerney was impressed by the team’s performance after a hiatus from competition since January.
“I thought we played really well,” said McInerney. “We’ve had almost three weeks off, going in I wasn’t sure what to expect. San Jose State is a good team and the girls played well.”
The Sun Devils started off the match strong by winning the doubles point and never let up. Senior Hannah James handily took down San Jose State’s Jessica Willett in the sixth spot, 6-1, 6-2. Two-time All-American Jacqueline Cako, playing No. 1, went back and forth in the first set with WAC Player of the Week Klaudia Boczova, only to frustrate the Spartan and win the second set 6-0.
ASU returns to competition this weekend, hosting Fresno State and Santa Clara at the Whiteman Tennis Center on Saturday and Sunday.
Arizona State 7, San Jose State 0
Wed., Feb. 13, 2013
Whiteman Tennis Center
1. Nicole Smith/Jacqueline Cako (ASU) def. Sabi Chao/Erica Medlin (SJST), 8-5
2. Klaudia Boczova/Jessica Willett (SJST) def. Joanna Smith/Ebony Panoho (ASU), 8-3
3. Desirae Krawczyk/Leighann Sahagun, ASU def. Chau Truong/Julianna Bacelar (SJST), 8-3
1. Jacqueline Cako (ASU) def. Klaudia Boczova (SJST), 6-4, 6-0
2. Leighann Sahagun (ASU) def. Sabi Leon Chao (SJST), 6-2, 6-7 (11-9) (1) (10-3)
3. Stephanie Vlad (ASU) def. Chau Truong (SJST), 6-1, 6-3
4. Ebony Panoho (ASU) def. Erica Medlin (SJST), 6-4, 6-1
5. Joanna Smith (ASU) def. Julianna Bacelar (SJST), 6-2, 6-3
6. Hannah James (ASU) def. Jessica Willett (SJST), 6-1, 6-2