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Freshman Desirae Krawczyk earns spot in Thunderbird Invitational Championship

November 13, 2012

The Arizona State Sun Devils women's tennis team has spent the past two days hosting the 2012 ASU Thunderbird Invitational. And ASU freshman Desirae Krawczyk has spent the past two days making sure the championship trophy doesn't leave the display at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe, Ariz.

Krawczyk defeated second-seeded Lynn Chi of Cal 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon to clinch her a spot on the main stage Sunday morning to compete for the title of Thunderbird Invitational Champion. Her performance this weekend has the ASU coaching staff noticing, as well.

"It's good to have a freshman in, that's always exciting. Desirae has stepped up her game and we weren't quite sure how she was going to fare since this is her first event back after some injury. I think she is playing like there is nothing to lose and there is no pressure on her," Arizona State Assistant Coach Clint Letcher said.

"But we definitely felt more and more comfortable each day, and more confident in her style of play," Letcher said.

Arizona State last fielded a player in the championship of the hometown tournament in 2010, when Kelcy McKenna won it all. Letcher was sure to mention an extra thought for not only tomorrow's match, but also the up-coming season. 

"She was a big-time recruit for us -- she was highly recruited by a lot of schools," Letcher said. "Her style of play is looking very, very promising." 

Earlier in the quarterfinals, Krawczyk defeated Mimi Nguyen of Michigan in two sets 6-3, 6-2. Sophomore Joanna Smith also saw a win on the day in the Sparky Draw 1st Round Consolation Bracket, edging out Aubrey Paul of BYU 7-5, 1-6, 6-2. Joanna Smith eventually fell in her next match to Gabby Steele of Ohio State 6-2, 6-2.

The Sun Devils split two matches in doubles to start the day off, with Joanna Smith and Stephanie Vlad walking off the courts as victors against Carli Wischhoff and Ivana Kubickova of Kansas State, by a score of 8-4.

Nicole Smith and Leighann Sahagun's match ended with the same score, however the Sun Devil pairing found themselves on the opposite side this time falling 8-4 against Michigan's Ronit Yurovsky and Kristy Dodge.

"We didn't start the day as well as we would have liked to, like we did the previous day, but the fact is that we fought back with some strong performances. I definitely am happy with the way the girls competed and what they have been able to accomplish today," Letcher said.

Krawczyk will compete for the 2012 ASU Thunderbird Invitational Championship, Sunday, November 11, at 9:30 a.m. at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe, Ariz. Like the Sun Devil's Women's Tennis Team on Facebook, or check with for updated tournament results.