No. 10 Women's Tennis Hosts No. 16 USC And No. 8 UCLA
March 27, 2002
ON TAP: The 10th-ranked Arizona State women's tennis team (10-3, 0-0 Pac-10) will open Pac-10 Conference play hosting 16th-ranked USC (12-4, 2-0 Pac-10) on Friday, March 29 at 1:30 p.m. and eighth-ranked UCLA (10-2, 0-1 Pac-10) on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. Both matches, played at the Whiteman Tennis Center, will count towards the conference standings. Earlier in the season in Los Angeles, ASU dropped a 4-3 decision to UCLA and defeated USC, 4-3.
LAST TIME OUT: The Sun Devils took a trip to Austin, Texas and came away with a hard fought 4-3 win over 16th-ranked Texas. A back and forth dual all afternoon long came down to the final singles match on the No. 6 court. After falling one set behind to the UT's Lindsay Blau, ASU freshman Joslynn Burkett powered through the next two sets to win the dual, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0. Texas opened the early lead by winning two of the three doubles matches at the No. 2 and 3 positions for the first point. The lone ASU doubles victory occurred on the No. 1 court where Adria Engel and Dora Krstulovic downed Ziva Grasic and Vladka Uhilrova, 8-6. In singles action, the Sun Devils came on strong by taking four of the six singles matches to take home the win. On the No. 1 court, Engel dropped the first set to Uhilrova before coming back and taking the next two for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory. Krstulovic had an easier time on the No. 2 court where she beat Texas' Joanne Masongsong in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, while Mhairi Brown also won 6-2, 6-2 on the No. 3 court over Katie Ruckert. Texas would claim victories on the fourth and fifth courts to even the dual at three apiece before Burkett pulled out the win on No. 6.
FROM THE ROAD TO HOME: The 2002 schedule had the Sun Devils on the road for their first five dual matches, including their first three Pac-10 matches. ASU finished that stretch with an impressive 4-1 mark. However, when ASU finished that road stretch they returned home for the entire month of March (nine consecutive duals) except for one dual they won at Texas. Currently ASU is 5-1 on the road and is 5-2 during its initial homestand. The home court extends into the first week of April as well, before ending the season on the road in the Bay Area and down the road in Tucson.
HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past five seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 58-15 (.795) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center. ASU is 5-2 this season, while posting a 16-1 mark last season.
HEAD COACH SHEILA McINERNEY: Sheila McInerney enters her 18th season at the helm of the Sun Devil program after leading her team to its sixth quarterfinal NCAA appearance in 10 years. ASU has made NCAA tournaments in 16 of McInerney's 17 seasons. ASU highlights from 2001 include a 20-6 overall record (McInerney's third 20-plus win season and her highest winning percentage as a head coach (.769)), an All-American selection, an All-Conference selection, the school's first Pac-10 Conference singles champion, four players earning national rankings and three academic All-Conference honorees. ASU ended the year as the seventh best team in the country. Additionally, McInerney was selected as the head coach of the 2001 USA Tennis Collegiate team. The USA Tennis Collegiate team, an elite training program for the top American collegiate tennis players, is administered by the USTA and ITA.
SUN DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: Adria Engel checks in at No. 22, Dora Krstulovic comes in at No. 55 and Mhairi Brown is No. 78. In doubles, Engel and Krstulovic are No. 24, while Brown and Megan Yeats are No. 42.