Eleventh-Ranked Women's Tennis Hosts NCAA Regional Against UMass

May 9, 2001

ON TAP: The eleventh-ranked Arizona State (17-5, 5-3) women's tennis squad will begin its NCAA Championship hunt this weekend as it hosts one of the NCAA Regionals here in Tempe against visiting Massachusetts (20-7). South Carolina (14-8) and Florida State (14-10) will be the other teams competing at the Tempe site Regional.

THIS WEEKEND: The Devils enter post-season play for the 14th straight season, and will host Massachusetts on Saturday at 11 a.m. (MST) at the Whiteman Tennis Center. No. 23 Southern Carolina will battle No. 37 Florida State in the other pairing at 8 a.m. (MST) on Saturday. The winners will advance to Sunday's final at 10 a.m. to decide who will advance to the Round of 16.

NOT TOO SHABBY: ASU finished its home season play with an outstanding 14-1 record, wrapping up season dual play with a 5-2 victory over the Wildcats of Arizona in the Devils' last dual match. The Devils finished fourth in the Pac-10 behind USC, Washington, and Stanford, yet still finished the season ranked No. 11 nationally. Last year, ASU turned out one of its most impressive NCAA outings, reaching the Quarterfinals, but falling, 5-3, to No. 4 Florida.

WORTH NOTING: ASU sophomore Adria Engel, currently ranked No. 6, leads the Devils' attack this season. Two weeks ago, Engel was crowned this year's Pac-10 Champion in singles play, and she earned April's ITA Player of the Month and First Team All-Pac-10 honors earlier this week. She finished 18-4 on the No. 1 court and has won 22 of her 24 last matches, including seven in a row. ASU's hard-hitting trio of Faye DeVera, Mhairi Brown, and Cindy Sureephong rounded out the season with a 53-12 (.815) combined dual record on courts No. 4, 5, and 6.

HEAD COACH SHEILA MCINERNEY: In her 17th season as head coach of the Sun Devils, the former USC All-American currently ranks second in ASU school history with 272 wins. McInerney has coached 14 different All-Americans and has guided the Sun Devils to NCAA tournament play each of the past 14 seasons. With the help of three All-Americans last season, McInerney and her squad reached the quarterfinals in the NCAA tournament after knocking off Duke University in the round of 16.

IN THE RANKINGS: Six ASU players finished in the nation's top rankings by the ITA. In singles action, No. 6 Adria Engel is accompanied by No. 89 teammate Megan Yeats. As a doubles team, the Mhairi Brown/Celena McCoury combo ranks No. 12, and the Cindy Sureephong/Megan Yeats tandem records its second national ranking at No. 38. Engel and Karin Palme also notch a No. 50 ranking as a doubles pair.

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