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Marianna Argyrokastriti wants to stand alongside the ASU women's tennis greats

Marianna Argyrokastriti wants to stand alongside the ASU women's tennis greats

 


Women's tennis is the only sport played continuously at ASU since the 19th century Marianna Argyrokastriti wants to be part of the program's long and illustrious history.

Sun Devil tennis has a long history at ASU. It was added as a sport when the university was still called the Territorial Normal School, before Arizona was a state. It takes a lot to make a mark on the program; But Argyrokastriti, a senior, said leaving an indelible mark has been her goal since she was a freshman.

“I always knew I wanted a leadership position in the group,” Argyrokastriti said. “Even as a freshman, I felt like I wanted to leave an impact on the program.”

With a 6-1 singles record this season for the No. 23 Sun Devils, Argyrokastriti has a good chance to do just that. She has the best singles record of any senior at 45-15, even after an injury-shortened sophomore season.

That second season, she went undefeated in the Pac-12 Championship, leading ASU to their first final appearance in the Pac-12. During her junior year, she was ranked No. 84 in singles matches by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Unfortunately, that injury could deprive her of a chance to stand among ASU women's tennis legends Adria Engel and Pam Richmond Champagne. However, her impact on the program may not have to do with her statistics, but rather her passion for the game, which is head coach Sheila McInerney This is an important part of her leadership.

“Marianna is one of these kids; she just loves tennis,” McInerney said. “She has a passion for life. People are just drawn to her because of that passion for the sport.”

Her journey as a leader has also been influenced by her former teammates. Argyrokastriti said she has learned from and now connects with the seniors who led her during her freshman year, even about what not to do in a leadership position.

“I learned a lot from my seniors back then,” Argyrokastriti said. “Especially now, this year, as a senior, I just get them more … I understand why they acted that way or why they said those things.”

Entering her senior year, the Sun Devils added three freshmen to the roster. One of them is Emilia TverijonaiteArgyrokastriti's main doubles partner, who said Argyrokastriti helped her at the beginning of the season.

“She showed me how everything works and how the team should be,” Tverijonaite said. “She has a good team spirit.”

During a four-game homestand, the then No. 25 Sun Devils lost to No. 1 Oklahoma State 0-4. After winning her last game against Arkansas, Argyrokastriti was unable to find a victory in an unfinished game against the Cowboys. She said the locker room was tense after the loss, which was good.

“It wasn't fun; people were very busy with it,” Argyrokastriti said. “It was a disappointing loss. We know we can compete against good teams. So yeah, just frustrated. I think it's the atmosphere in the locker room these days, and that's a good thing.”

Although she is one of the best players on the team, her passion continues to drive her and the team this season. McInerney said her passion for the game keeps her going.

“Her work ethic, her passion,” McInerney said. “You just have to make sure that you keep a positive attitude and keep that energy around, you know, stay super positive.”

Edited by Shane Brennan, Walker Smith and Caera Learmonth.


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