Women's Tennis Tops Saint Mary's to Move to Second Round of NCAA Tournament

May 14, 2010

LOS ANGELES - The No. 23 Arizona State women's tennis team advanced on to the second round of the NCAA Championship as they defeated No. 38 Saint Mary's 4-1 in the first round. The Sun Devils improved to a 14-5 overall record and will continue their quest for the NCAA Championship tomorrow against the winner of UCLA and Army.

'We expected it to be a tough match, and it wasn't easy,' said 26th year head coach Sheila McInerney.

The Sun Devils opened up the match with a solid showing in doubles. Senior Nadia Abdala and sophomore Michelle Brycki got to work early, topping the Gael duo of Catherine Isip and Anna Chikhikvishvili 8-2. ASU earned their doubles point and went up 1-0 when team of Ashlee Brown and Sianna Simmons defeated Nienke Stijbis and Alita Fisher 8-5.

'Doubles was very competitive,' said McInerney. 'We won at No. 2 pretty easily and held on to win at No. 3.'

In singles, Brycki continued her flawless dual match record as she improved to 15-0 in dual singles with a win at No. 5. She defeated Stijbis 6-0, 6-1 to put the Sun Devils at a 2-0 advantage. Junior All-American Kelcy McKenna dropped her No. 2 singles match, putting the match at 2-1.

'Michelle did what she has been doing all season and won pretty handily,' said McInerney.

Hannah James came on strong at the No. 4 slot. Coming off a strong showing at the Pac-10 tournament, the freshman picked up a key win to give ASU a 3-1 advantage and only needing one more win to clinch the match. After winning the first set 6-2, James came back from being down 3-0 in the second set to win 6-2, 6-4. Senior Abdala gave the Sun Devils the win after defeating Chikhikvishvili 7-6 (7-3), 6-0. Abdala, who has earned her BA in Communications, missed yesterday's graduation ceremony to compete in the match.

'Hannah played a really good match,' said McInerney. 'Nadia won the tie-breaker in the first set and then it was good for her to get that second set over quickly.'

The Sun Devils will face the winner of UCLA and Army tomorrow. Should they win, they will advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

'We're going to have to fight our fannies off tomorrow,' said McInerney.

Doubles
1. Hein/McKenna (ASU) v. Poorta/Soper (SMC) 7-5, unfinished
2. Abdala/Brycki (ASU) def. Chikhikvishvili/Isip (SMC) 8-2
3. Brown/Simmons (ASU) def. Nienke Strijbis/Alita Fisher (SMC) 8-5
Singles
1. Alex Poorta (SMC) vs. Micaela Hein (ASU) 3-6, 6-3, 2-1, unfinished
2. Catherine Isip (SMC) def. Kelcy McKenna (ASU) 6-3, 6-1
3. Nadia Abdala (ASU) def. Anna Chikhikvishili (SMC) 7-6 (7-3), 6-0
4. Hannah James (ASU) def. Claire Soper (SMC) 6-2, 6-4
5. Michelle Brycki (ASU) def. Nienke Strijbis (SMC) 6-0, 6-1
6. Sianna Simmons (ASU) vs. Molly Aloia (SMC) 6-2, 4-6, 0-0 unfinished

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