Late heroics fall short as DU women’s tennis loses to ASU 4-3

Two parts of the state, same result, right down to the other team pouring onto the court to celebrate with DU women’s tennis forced to stand there and watch.

The #42 Pioneers (13-5, 3-0) lost their second in a row, falling to the Arizona State Sun Devils 4-3 in Tempe, the same score against the University of Arizona down in Tucson one day earlier.

Co-captain Bianca Mok and Camille Verden-Anderson took on the #3 doubles team in the country Sunday

In doubles the #1 DU team of Bianca Mok and Camille Verden-Anderson played tough but ultimately were overrun by Brit Lauryn John-Baptiste and South African Ilze Hattingh i.e. the third-ranked doubles team in D1 college tennis.

Mok fared much better in singles, as the senior co-captain took down Hattingh 6-1, 6-2.

ASU was up 3-2 with two matches left, and looked to have the Pios on the ropes with Savannah Slaysman of the Devils closing in on a straight sets victory over Hada Chang in the #5 match to clinch the win. But Chang wasn’t ready to call it a day, battling to a tie in the second set then winning the tiebreaker, then shocking Slaysman 6-3 in the third set.

But for the second straight day, the final and deciding match brought only heartbreak for the Pioneers, but not without an incredible effort from sophmore Anna Riedmiller. Riedmiller battled John-Baptiste through three sets, had her opponent’s back to the wall at match point 6-5, but failed to seal the deal. With the match left to a tiebreaker, John-Baptiste struck again, and the Pios were forced to again watch another team run onto the court to embrace their teammate.

One can hope the ITA will be kind to DU when the new rankings come out in the middle of next week, but after two straight losses (one to a team outside the top fifty), the team could heading for a tumble. The Pios three remaining matches are against no one who will impress the ranking gods. The pressure will be on the ladies the weekend of April 26th to win their sixth-straight Summit crown and automatically qualify for NCAA play.

DU knock on wood will get back on the winning track against Summit foe Western Illinois next Saturday at 10:30a. That match is again on the road in Macomb, IL.