Tennis hoping to rebound against Fresno State and Texas

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Friday, February 26, 2010
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The ASU women’s tennis team has the opportunity to get solid resume wins this weekend as two ranked teams travel to Tempe.

Both No. 64 Fresno State and No. 33 Texas travel to the Valley to face No. 31 ASU (3-2) on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

“It’s a good weekend for us,” ASU coach Sheila McInerney said. “After a tough one at Cal, we need to come out and play really well.”

Fresno State (0-5) has been ranked as high as fifteenth but has struggled in duals with five straight losses.

Injuries have slowed its start, but Fresno State has made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament three years in a row, taking out ASU on the way in 2008.

“[Fresno State coach Simon Thibodeau] does a good job with that team, and they will be ready to play,” McInerney said.

The Bulldogs boast one ranked player in No. 6 senior Anastasia Petukhova.

The Longhorns (2-3) have hovered around the Sun Devils in the rankings all season.

Texas has three players ranked nationally in No. 17 freshman Aeriel Ellis, No. 50 sophomore Krista Damico and No. 71 senior Vanja Corovic.

ASU defeated Texas 4-3 last season in Austin, but Texas is much improved with the addition of Ellis.
“We sort of have knock-down, drag-out matches with them,” McInerney said. “We expect them to be better and play better.”

There are two Sun Devils in the rankings in No. 97 junior Kelcy McKenna, and No. 106 junior Micaela Hein.

Doubles teams are not finalized as both sophomore Michelle Brycki, who has gone 2-0 in duals since returning, and freshman Nicole Smith continue their return from injury.

The Sun Devils are coming off a tough loss against No. 3 California, 7-1, but had their chances with four three-set matches.

The good teams are not going to back down after losing a set, McInerney said.

“There is no clock to stop, there is no last hole or last anything,” McInerney said. “You have to close out that match. The good teams are going to battle you.”

Reach the reporter at nathan.meacham@asu.edu