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Six Straight! Gallagher Comes Through in a Thriller as Sun Devils Remain Perfect at Home

Feb 27, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. – She dropped the first set, then rallied in the next to force a third.

Then, down 3-4 in the final frame, Sedona Gallagher couldn't have looked more calm and collected.

With all eyes on her – the Sun Devils and Jayhawks were even at 3-3 with one singles match to be played – Gallagher rattled off three consecutive games, stunning Kansas' Sonia Smagina to seal a 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 triumph and a thrilling 4-3 win for the Sun Devils.

Euphoria ensued, as Gallagher was swarmed by her teammates on Court 3 at the Whiteman Tennis Center. They drenched her in water and buried her in high-fives and back slaps.

Six home matches this spring, six Sun Devil wins, the latest two coming against No. 30 Kansas and No. 31 San Diego. 

Sunday's triumph ended the Jayhawks' five-match winning streak, which included an upset over No. 16 Old Dominion on February 20.

The Sun Devils (7-2) jumped out to a fast start in doubles play, clinching the lone doubles points with wins on Court 2 (Gallagher & Giulia Morlet, 6-1) and 3 (Natasha Hill & Cali Jankowski, 6-3). It's the first win of Hill's Sun Devil career.

The remainder of the afternoon featured a tug-of-war of sorts in singles play. Cali Jankowski and Patricija Spaka took care of their opponents in straight sets, giving the Sun Devils a pivotal 3-1 edge.

Spaka has complemented her team-high eight singles wins with a national ranking in doubles play (No. 49) alongside Domenika Turkovic.

The Jayhawks proved to be a thorn in the Sun Devils' side when, on Courts 1 and 2, they stole third-set wins against Giulia Morlet and Domenika Turkovic.

Morlet, going for a third consecutive win over a ranked opponent, nearly pulled it off against No. 63 Maria Titova before ultimately falling, 6-1, 3-6, 4-6. Turkovic, battling another nationally-ranked opponent in Malkia Ngounoue (No. 121) took the first set before stumbling in the next two, 6-3, 5-7, 2-6.

Gallagher then helped stave off the Jayhawks to deliver a third-straight Sun Devil win and the 547th of head coach Sheila McInerney's career. Perfect at home this spring, their last loss at Whiteman came on April 3, 2021(5-2 vs. USC).

Head coach Sheila McInerney: "Really proud of our team today as we definitely had to dig deep to come away with the win against a very good and determined Kansas team. We came out and played a really good doubles point and started strong in the singles winning four first sets. It was good that Cali and Patricija got early wins.

"We knew Kansas would battle and they did. Happy for Sedona to come through and clinch the match for us. It was a good weekend for us and we are excited to start Pac-12 play at home this coming weekend."

1. Titova, Maria (KAN) def. Morlet,Giulia (ASU) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 
2. Nguonoue, Malkia (KAN) def. Turkovic,Domenika (ASU) 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 
3. Sedona Gallagher (ASU) def. Smagina, Sonia (KAN) 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 
4. Jankowski,Cali (ASU) def. Lacasse, Raphaelle (KAN) 6-4, 7-6 
5. Patricija Spaka (ASU) def. Manyoma-Velasquez, M (KAN) 7-5, 6-4 
6. Lagarde, Tiffany (KAN) def. Hill,Natasha (ASU) 7-6, 6-0 

1. Patricija Spaka/Turkovic,Domenika (ASU) vs. Titova, Maria/Nguonoue, Malkia (KAN) 4-3, unfinished 
2. Sedona Gallagher/Morlet,Giulia (ASU) def. Smagina, Sonia/Lagarde, Tiffany (KAN) 6-1 
3. Jankowski,Cali/Hill,Natasha (ASU) def. Lacasse, Raphaelle/Manyoma-Velasquez, M (KAN) 6-3 

The Sun Devils seem to save their finest tennis for the Tempe sun and the Whiteman Tennis Center. They're back for two more this weekend, with dates against Washington (Friday, March 4, 1:30 p.m.) and Washington State (Saturday, March 5, 12 p.m.).