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Sun Devils Battle Against No. 25 Tigers, Fall Late 4-3

Jan 28, 2022

ORLANDO, Fl. – By clinching the lone doubles point to begin play against the No. 25 Auburn Tigers, there was the Sun Devils' path to victory in the opener of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.

All they needed now was to register three singles wins in their next six individual contests.

And how close they came to doing just that.

The Sun Devils (3-1) ultimately fell in a heartbreaker to the Tigers, 4-3, on Friday afternoon at the USTA National Campus for their first loss of the 2022 campaign.

Cali Jankowski and Patricija Spaka picked up two huge singles wins on Courts 5 & 6, respectively. The Tigers would later knot things up at 3-3 as one match remained on Court 4, as Marianna Argyrokastriti & Auburn's Adeline Flach engaged in a classic. Down 5-2 in the third and final set, Argyrokastriti nearly knotted it back up, but fell 6-4.

Next up for the Sun Devils is a Saturday afternoon showing against UCSB, who fell earlier Friday to No. 10 UCF, 4-2.

The Sun Devils claimed the lone doubles point to jump out to a lead in the early going, thanks to wins on Court 1 by Domenika Turkovic & Patricija Spaka (6-4) and Court 3 by Sedona Gallagher & Cali Jankowski (6-4).

They traded punches with the Tigers for the next two hours in singles play, with each side picking up a pair of victories that evened the match at three-all.

Jankowski defeated Georgia Axon, 6-2, 7-6 and Spaka got the better of Yu Chen, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. The two are both perfect in singles play this year, tied with each other for a team-best four individual wins.

Giulia Morlet and Sedona Gallagher nearly pulled off upsets over a couple of ranked Tigers. Against No. 79 Selin Ovunc on Court 1, it came down to a third-set tiebreaker. Morlet won the first set 6-3, dropped the second 4-6, and then fell in the final frame, 7-6.

Two courts over, Gallagher narrowly lost to No. 115 Carolyn Ansari, 6-1, 6-7, 1-6.

Domenika Turkovic couldn't build off a 6-1 victory in the first set, losing the remaining two, 6-0, 6-1.

Five of the six singles matches went to a third set, a testament to the kind of fight the Sun Devils played with all afternoon.