Vlad Secures Victory for No. 27 Sun Devil Tennis over Pepperdine, 5-2
Securing five of the seven match points, the No. 27 Arizona State Sun Devils women's tennis team defeated Pepperdine in an afternoon matchup at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe, Ariz.
ASU freshman Stephanie Vlad executed a game plan that earned the match-clinching fourth point for the Sun Devils, navigating through a difficult three set match on the #4 court.
"I thought I fought really well, I thought I made her play a lot of balls. In that third set I was looking to play up close in order to spread her more," freshman Stephanie Vlad said.
Vlad captured the first set in short time by a score of 6-1, but then fell 3-6. The tie-break third match, that was long enough to make it the second to last match to finish on the day, ended in favor of the freshman Sun Devil 6-1.
"I was frustrated when I lost the second set, but (Assistant Coach) Clint (Letcher) told me to stay calm and start out strong. I felt like I came out with a good lead in the third set and I tried to keep the lead by not letting it close," Vlad said.
Doubles play to start the morning wasn't the highlight of the day for ASU. Pepperdine was able to snag two of the matches putting the Waves up quick 1-0.
"We didn't play very well in the doubles at all. Nikki (Smith) and Jacqueline (Cako) had a terrible start, going down 6-1, but they came back to an extent which made it exciting," Head Coach Sheila McInerney said.
ASU was faced with an opportunity to quickly change the pace however -- and change the pace quickly they did, winning singles at #6, #1, and #5 before finally losing.
The first win of that three win run, earned by Sophomore Joanna Smith by a score of 6-0, 6-1, was one of the best for Arizona State. The sophomore has been in and out of the lineup trying to find her place for the 2013 season.
"I just wanted to get out there and finish as quick as possible," Joanna Smith said. "I had a lot of concentration and focus today, and I play better when I'm focused and I'm pumped up."
Seniors Hannah James and Jacqueline Cako added wins of their own to go with Joanna Smith's on the whiteboard at the Whiteman Tennis Center. Freshman Desirae Krawczyk closed out the day winning the final match in three full sets, giving ASU their fifth point.
Pepperdine arrived in Tempe with a record that didn't tell the full story -- six losses and zero wins, against almost all top ten opponents.
"I expect every player on our team to have a tough match every time," McInerney said. "No one on our team is undefeated so I don't think anyone can be over-confident -- it's going to be a battle and you've got to be ready."
The Sun Devils will practice for the rest of the week before welcoming Utah State on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in Tempe, Ariz.
#27 Arizona State 5 :: #51 Pepperdine 2
Whiteman Tennis Center
12 p.m. MST
1. Khonpak Issara/Lorraine Guillermo (Pepp) def. Nicole Smith/Jacqueline Cako (ASU) 8-6
2. Michaela Capannolo/Ale Granillo (Pepp) def. Joanna Smith/Ebony Panoho (ASU) 8-5
3. Leighann Sahagun/Desirae Krawczyk (ASU) def. Megan Moore/Tara Panu (Pepp) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1. Jacqueline Cako (ASU) def. Lorraine Guillermo (Pepp) 6-2, 6-1
2. Khunpak Issara (Pepp) def. Leighann Sahagun (ASU) 7-5, 6-2
3. Desirae Krawczyk (ASU) def. Ale Granillo (Pepp) 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (6)
4. Stephanie Vlad (ASU) def. Michaela Capannolo (Pepp) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
5. Hannah James (ASU) def. Megan Moore (Pepp) 6-1, 6-3
6. Joanna Smith (ASU) def.Danielle Feneridis (Pepp) 6-0, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 1, 5, 2, 4, 3