Disappointing weekend for ASU tennis

04-13-09 Tennis
Junior Nadia Abdala makes an underhand return during a match against Sacramento State earlier this season at Whiteman Tennis Center. (Damien Maloney | The State Press)
Published On:
Monday, April 13, 2009
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The ASU women’s tennis team went into this weekend with the opportunity to knock off two of the best teams in the country, but the Sun Devils fell just short.

No. 25 ASU fell to 10-8 (3-5 in the Pac-10) after losing heartbreaking matches to No. 11 UCLA and No. 9 USC.

The Sun Devils got out to a fast start against UCLA on Friday after sweeping the doubles matches but could only manage to win two out of the six singles matches in the 4-3 loss.

“It was a long match, and it was mentally draining to lose a match that close,” head coach Sheila McInerney said.

McInerney said the UCLA loss was especially draining for sophomore Kelcy McKenna, who lost at the No. 1 singles position 6-7, 7-6, 7-6.

The match was tied at 3-3, and McKenna’s three-set thriller decided the match.

ASU was back in action the next day, this time they had to battle USC and Mother Nature.

The match started 2 hours after the scheduled time and left both teams in a hurry to finish the match before the rain returned.

In order to speed up the match, singles were played before doubles and if doubles were needed to decide the match, they likely would have been played Sunday.

Unfortunately for ASU, doubles were not needed in the 4-2 loss.

Junior Nadia Abdala led ASU this weekend and won both of her singles matches and her doubles match.

“[The loss to UCLA] motivated me for our match against USC,” Abdala said. “It gave us belief, because the match was so close. Even though we lost both matches, it’s going to make us better.”

The Sun Devils led 3-2 late in the match when the rain returned. Freshman Michelle Brycki dropped her third set before play was halted, but senior Laila Abdala was forced to stop her match and wait for the courts to dry.

Play was continued 15 minutes later, but the rain returned, this time stopping the match for more than an hour. Abdala fell just short in a match that did not finish until after 8 p.m.

“We’re deeply disappointed,” McInerney said. “If you have that competitive fire and lose two close matches at home, it should upset you."

“At the same token, we have to get over it, take a few days off and come back to practice Tuesday and get ready for UA,” McInerney said.

Reach the reporter at todonnel@asu.edu.