Arizona State women's tennis falls to USC 6-1

The No. 20 Arizona State women's tennis team fell to Pac-12 rival USC 6-1, Jan. 29, in the final round of the ITA Kick-off Weekend Regional at The Whiteman Tennis Complex in Tempe, Ariz.

Although the Sun Devils were handed their first loss of the regular duals season, at the hands of a very competitive USC squad, head coach Sheila McInerney saw plenty of reasons to be proud of her team while walking into the clubhouse.

"I actually thought we played pretty alright, obviously 6-1 is a little bit of a lopsided score, but I thought we played pretty well at one and two doubles. We got a little unlucky and we had a lot of chances at the beginning of those matches, but they didn't quite come through," said McInerney.

Arizona State dropped in the hole early, loosing the doubles point despite tough competition from both sides of the net.

"Six game points at number two doubles and we weren't able to pull it through, it's not easy starting down one to a team that is as deep as USC," said McInerney.

9th-ranked Jacqueline Cako earned the sole point for ASU, battling Zoe Scandalis on the main court. The match had already been decided as the pair split the sets one and two equally, but Cako was able to earn the point by defeating Scandalis 10-6 in an abbreviated third set. Even with a shortened set, the pair were still the last ones to finish for the day. Cako however never showed one sign of being tired, despite competing in a long winded first and second set.

"It shows all the work that I've already put into it. I do a lot of fitness on my own, which is huge for these types of matches. They have a lot of long points where it's just running side to side, you just have to hang in there sometimes," said Cako.

Coming off early season success, Sun Devil freshman Joanna Smith fell by slim margins against Gabriela DeSimone in the five spot. Although losing 7-5 in the first set, and 6-4 in the second, Smith was able to walk away with the positives on her mind.

"Just improving every day, improving in every match. Just overall trying to get better, it's not all about the scores," said Smith.

The Sun Devils drop to 3-1 on the season and will square off against San Diego in Tempe, Ariz. on February 5th.

Arizona State Regional

Jan. 29, 2012 - 1:30 p.m. MT

USC 6, ASU 1


1. Jacqueline Cako/Nicole Smith (ASU) vs. Kaitlyn Christian/Sabrina Santamaria (USC) DNF
2. Alison Ramos/Danielle Lao (USC) def. Michelle Brycki/Joanna Smith (ASU) 8-2
3. Zoe Scandalis/Valeria Pulido (USC) def. Leighann Sahagun/Sianna Simmons (ASU) 8-2

Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1


1. Jacqueline Cako (ASU) def. Zoe Scandalis (USC) 7-6, 3-6, [10-6]
2. Danielle Lao (USC) def. Michelle Brycki (ASU) 6-4, 2-6, 2-1 ret.
3. Sabrina Santamaria (USC) def. Hannah James (ASU) 6-1, 6-3
4. Kaitlyn Christian (USC) def. Sianna Simmons (ASU) 7-6 (4), 6-2
5. Gabriela DeSimone (USC) def. Joanna Smith (ASU) 7-5, 6-4
6. Alison Ramos (USC) def. Leighann Sahagun 7-5, 6-3

Order of Finish: 3, 6, 5, 2, 4, 1