Men's Tennis Hosts Northern Arizona; Travels to Tucson To Face The Wildcats

Feb. 25, 2002

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ON TAP: It's the battle of in-state teams this week as the Arizona State men's tennis team (3-2) will host Northern Arizona (3-7) on Wednesday, February 27 at 1:30 p.m. The dual will NOT be played at the Whiteman Tennis Center/Robson Player Facility, but at the Gene Autry Park in Mesa. The Sun Devils will then travel to the University of Arizona (6-3) for a Pac-10 dual on Friday, March 1 at 1:30 p.m.

VENUE CHANGE: Due to the ASU women's tennis team hosting the UA also on Wednesday at the Whiteman Tennis Center, the men's tennis dual against NAU will take place at the Gene Autry Park in Mesa. To get to the tennis match, take McKellips Road east to Val Vista Road. The park is located on the south side of the road.

LAST TIME ON THE COURT: Arizona State dropped a 5-2 decision to fourth-ranked USC. The Sun Devils opened the dual by winning all three of the doubles matches for the first point. The team of Mitchell Bowen and Matt Klinger finished on the No. 1 court with an 8-5 victory over USC's 28th-ranked team of Ryan Moore and Nick Rainey. However, USC recovered and won the match with five singles wins. ASU's freshman Clinton Letcher had the only win for the Devils, posting a victory over Prakash Amritraj, 6-2, 7-5. Mirza Duranovic tried to bring the Devils one more win, but fell short losing the first and last set to USC's Rainey, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (3).

NEW FACES WITH A DOWN UNDER LOOK: This year's team welcomes five new players. Michael Faust (Jr./Sydney, Australia) will redshirt the 2002 season after transferring from UC Santa Barbara, Clinton Letcher (Fr./Melbourne, Australia) was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon in junior doubles, Rodney Rapson (Fr./Melbourne, Australia) recorded a 28-4 singles record and a 17-9 doubles mark in high school, Chris Stewart (So./Adelaide, Australia) transferred last spring from Georgia State, Jonathan Stott (So./Yorkville, Illinois) played a season at New Mexico before coming to Tempe.

HEAD COACH LOU BELKEN: In his 20th season as head coach, Lou Belken has produced 14 All-Americans, including NCAA singles champion and ATP professional Sargis Sargsian. Belken also becomes only the 12th coach (currently only the second active) in Arizona State athletic history to achieve the 20 season milestone. Belken, the 1999 Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year and Region VIII Coach of the Year, has guided the Sun Devils to NCAA postseason berths in 11 of the last 15 seasons, including a berth into the NCAA round of 16 in 1988, '90, '91 (quarterfinals), '95 and '99.

HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past five seasons, including a 3-2 record this year, Arizona State holds a 63-27 (.700) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center.

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