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Women's tennis prepares to send out seniors

April 13, 2012

The No. 30 Arizona State women's tennis team will play at home for the last time in the 2012 duals season this weekend, with Pac-12 opponents Utah and Colorado traveling to Tempe to take on the Sun Devils at the Whiteman Tennis Center.

"It's always nice to be at home. We're welcoming in two teams we haven't face in a while," head coach Sheila McInerney said. "We haven't played Utah in years, and we've never played Colorado."

Arizona State is starting at a disadvantage this weekend, after senior Sianna Simmons suffered an injury last weekend in California. "You feel terrible for Sianna, she's really worked hard to get where she is at now and she's such a good team leader," McInerney said.

"She's been playing so well at the No. 3 spot, and she has worked hard in her four years with the team. You feel badly for her, but the like I talked about with her yesterday, she has played nine-tenths of the season so you have to feel positive about that," McInerney said.

Freshman Joanna Smith has filled big shoes in the back half of this season as well, moving up from the No. 5-6 courts to as high as the No. 2 court against the twenty-second ranked player in the country, Danielle Lao of USC. Although Joanna Smith fell at the hands of the nationally ranked Trojan, McInerney sees beyond the loosing score.

"She played very well in doubles, but in singles I think she was a little overwhelmed, but we talked about that afterwords," McInerney said. "You have to look at it as more of an opportunity then a pressure situation -- and for a freshman I think that is a really good thing."

Coming off an upset of fifteenth-ranked Zoe Scandalis of USC this past weekend, Michelle Brycki will take to the stage for her last weekend of regular season play as a Sun Devil at home in Tempe.

"I'm really happy with the way Michelle is playing right now. Talk about someone who puts in work, I could not be more happy and proud of the way she is playing and how much work she has put into it," McInerney said.

Brycki, who is also a journalism major at The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is expected to graduate with a degree in December has worked around the clock balancing her stand out tennis career and the tough course load that comes with her program.

"You do the work and good results happen," Mcinerney said. "She's really put in the time, getting out there early in the morning for individual work and finding a balance to do it all."

Utah will come into Tempe ranked 43rd, coming off a Pac-12 win against Washington last weekend. The Utes are led by senior Anastasia Putilina who is ranked No. 77 in the country.

"Utah has a very good team, they've had some really good wins this year. They will be ready no question about it, there a tough team," McInerney said.

The Sun Devils will look to secure wins this weekend, with one last match coming against the University of Arizona in Tuscon, Ariz. as a part of The State Farm Territorial Cup. ASU will however have to overcome those unforeseen injuries to make it to the finish line.

"It's just keeping the morale up, and realizing no matter who is in the line up or whose going to play you just have to get the four," McInerney said. "So we just have to count on everyone to do their part, it's really nothing more than that."

Stick with and ASU Women's Tennis on Facebook for all the action this coming weekend.