Women's tennis edges past San Diego

More than midway through the match, and the pressure was on.

"I could see my teammates struggling, but then I could see that everyone was kind of picking up their game. I knew that I had to do something as well," said Arizona State senior Michelle Brycki.

Brycki took Laura Claus of San Diego into three sets on the number two court, and clinched the match for The Sun Devils, winning the final set 7-6 (1).  The only other match up still playing before Brycki sealed the deal was Nicole Smith and Marite Ragada of San Deigo a few courts over.

"I knew that Sianna (Simmons) had won, Jacqueline (Cako) and Joanna (Smith) had won, and it was just Nikki (Smith) and I left. I was further along in my match then she was. So I knew I could take a bit of pressure off of her, and I'll just do it myself," Brycki said with a laugh.

After failing to secure the doubles and first singles point, Jacqueline Cako defeated Stephanie Hoffpauir 4-6, 6-0, 6-0 winning her fifth straight singles match and giving ASU their first team point. Both Sianna Simmons and Joanna Smith tacked on a point of their own defeating Anne Depenau 6-4, 6-4 and Maja Sujica 6-1, 7-6 (5) respectively.

After falling 6-1 to USC last week, Arizona State came ready to fight until the end. "We knew this would be a really tough match, if you look at the remainder of our schedule, every match is going to be like this," ASU head coach Sheila McInerney said.

"With a match like this obviously it helps when you come out on top, but we knew it was going to be hard. We lost the doubles point, but I thought our kids battled great. Michelle (Brycki) was down a set 4-2, and then Nikki (Smith) was up and then got down, so it's just going to be up and down the whole way," said McInerney.

With the Sun Devils hosting Northern Arizona on the seventeenth, and then traveling to Malibu, Calif. to take on Boise State and Pepperdine, Arizona State is looking straight down the sights at the beginning of the toughest part of the schedule.

"I think we have to make sure that we know that we're in for a dogfight all the way intro April. So just enjoy the competition, enjoy the battle, because it's going to be tough all the way through," said McInerney.

The Sun Devils will practice for a two week period after this coming weekends match against Texas was canceled due to a scheduling conflict.

"You just have to stay the course, and somehow get to four as a team. We did that today, which was a good thing," said McInerney.

No. 19 Arizona State 4, No. 35 San Diego 3
Sunday Feb. 5 2012 11:00 a.m. MT
Whiteman Tennis Center, Tempe Arizona


1. Jacqueline Cako/Nicole Smith (ASU) def. Stephanie Hoffpauir/Idil Haciraifoglu (SD) 8-1
2. Laura Claus/Juliette Coupez (SD) def. Michelle Brycki/Joanna Smith (ASU) 8-5
3. Maja Sujica/Anna Depenau (SD) def. Sianna Simmons/Leighann Sahagun 8-5

Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3


1. Jacqueline Cako (ASU) def. Stephanie Hoffpauir (SD) 4-6, 6-0, 6-0
2. Michelle Brycki (ASU) def. Laura Claus (SD) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1)
3. Juliette Coupez (SD) def. Hannah James (ASU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Sianna Simmons (ASU) def. Anne Depenau (SD) 6-4, 6-4
5. Marite Ragada (SD) def. Nicole Smith (ASU) 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
6. Joanna Smith (ASU) def. Maja Sujica 6-1, 7-6 (5)

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