Eleventh-Ranked Women's Tennis To Battle No. 7 Cal in Round of 16 at NCAA Championships
May 14, 2001
ON TAP: The eleventh-ranked Arizona State (19-5, 5-3) women's tennis squad will continue its NCAA Championship hunt this Thursday as it battles No. 7 California (16-6) in the Round of 16 at the Georgia State University host site in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
LAST WEEKEND: The Devils advanced to the Round of 16 by defeating Massachusetts on Saturday, 7-0, and South Carolina, 4-2, in Sunday's final during this weekend's Regionals in Tempe. Cal was able to hold off Loyola College on Saturday, 7-0, and then defeated No. 20 North Carolina, 4-1, on Sunday to advance to meet the Devils for Thursday's dual.
THIS WEEKEND: Six of this weekend's 16 teams come from the Pac-10 Conference. No. 1 Stanford, No. 7 California, No. 10 Southern Cal, No. 11 Arizona State, No. 14 Washington, and No. 30 UCLA will represent the Pac-10. ASU will take on Cal for the third time this season. The Devils lost to the Golden Bears, 4-3, in March in Berkeley, but beat the Bears, 4-3, here in Tempe in April. This weekend's pairings are listed below.
NOT TOO SHABBY: ASU finished its home season play with an outstanding 16-1 record, including the two Regional wins this past Saturday and Sunday. The Devils pounded 10 of its 17 home opponents by a 7-0 score, including Saturday's Regional first-rounder against UMass. ASU wrapped 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. The Devils enter post season play for the 14th straight season under Head Coach Sheila McInerney.
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 last week. She finished 18-4 on the No. 1 court during the regular dual season, and she has won 24 of her 26 last matches, including nine in a row. ASU's hard-hitting trio of Faye DeVera, Mhairi Brown, and Cindy Sureephong total a 58-13 (.817) combined dual record on courts No. 4, 5, and 6. Sureephong and Engel, along with sophomore Megan Yeats, each hit the 20-win mark for dual play over this past weekend in Tempe at Regionals.
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 274 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.
Pairings for Thursday, May 17 Round of 16:
No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 17 Wake Forest
No. 11 Arizona State vs. No. 7 California
No. 5 Florida vs. No. 8 Notre Dame
No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Washington
No. 30 UCLA vs. No. 6 Vanderbilt
No. 13 Texas vs. No. 2 Duke
No. 10 Southern Cal vs. No. 9 Northwestern
No. 18 Baylor vs. No. 4 Georgia
Please visit www.georgiastate.com and www.ncaachampionships.com for other coverage, including exact match times, of the NCAA Team Championships at the Lincoln Tennis Center in Stone Mountain, Georgia, May 17-20 (Thursday-Sunday). Stay tuned for the Q&A session with ASU's No. 6 sophomore Adria Engel that will be posted in the feature section of www.thesundevils.fansonly.com later this week.