“Arizona State is a quality team and I certainly don’t want to take anything away from them,” TCU head coach Lee Taylor Walker said. “Coach Sheila [McInerney] is a legend and Coach [Matt] Langley has added a lot to their program as well, so first, congratulations to them. However, I’m very disappointed in the immaturity we showed tonight.”
The match began with a doubles competition tiebreaker. TCU senior Donika Bashota and freshman Elizabeth Tedford defeated the Sun Devil’s No. 28 Savannah Slaysman and Tereza Kolarova with a 6-3 score. However, the Horned Frogs were unable to get the victory in the final doubles match, which put them behind 1-0 overall.
“There are several teams historically and currently that have had great success with freshmen, so using the freshman card is just an excuse I want to avoid all year long,” Walker said. “We had leads on every court at times and we crumbled with negativity, self-implosion, and indecisiveness.”
Stevie Kennedy, a freshman from Bonita Springs, Florida, blew past No. 83 Savannah Slaysman in singles competition with scores of 6-2 and 6-4 to clinch the first ranked victory of her career. However, Arizona State responded with three consecutive singles victories, giving them the overall win.
“Tennis is a sport filled with momentum changes and lots of situations of anxiety,” Walker said. “A player has to train these situations prior to competition and hardwire them into their brain so that it overrides the anxiety under pressure and they can freely perform successfully under pressure. We will be spending all our time this week on situational awareness and having a game plan that is sharp and ready for anything that comes.”
TCU will continue their non-conference schedule at 1:00 p.m. at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center Saturday, Feb. 3 against Texas Tech. They will follow that with a doubleheader Sunday, Feb. 4, facing Texas State at 10 a.m. and UT-Rio Grande Valley at 2 p.m.