Men's Tennis Heads To Pepperdine For NCAA Regionals
May 8, 2002
ON TAP: The Arizona State men's tennis team (12-9) will compete in the NCAA Regionals for the eighth time in the past nine season when they travel to Malibu, California for postseason play against first round opponent No. 22 Minnesota (16-7). The Sun Devils and Golden Gophers will square off on Saturday, May 11 at 2:00 p.m. Host and No. 8 Pepperdine (22-5) will face Richmond (17-9) in the opening first round dual at 10:00 a.m. The two first round winners will play against each other in the second round on Sunday, May 12 at 12:00 p.m. The champion of the regional will then head to College Station, Texas to play in the Round of 16 Team Championship, Saturday, May 18.
REGIONAL NOTES: The Sun Devils hold a 4-2 all-time record against Minnesota, a 6-13 mark against Pepperdine and have never faced Richmond ... this will be the second time ASU has visited Pepperdine this year, defeating Washington (4-2) and falling to Pepperdine (0-4) at the Pepperdine Invitational (March 23-24) ... this will mark the 11th regional appearance for the Sun Devils under Coach Lou Belken ... ASU last advanced out of a regional in 1999 ... Minnesota will be the 10th top-25 opponent ASU has face this year.
DOUBLES ADVANTAGE: Arizona State has won the doubles point in 16 of their 21 duals this year. They are a combined 39-20, including a 17-3 mark at the No. 3 slot. The 16th-ranked duo of Mitchell Bowen and Matt Klinger hold a 12-8 record at the No. 1 slot and a 14-9 overall record. At the No. 2 and 3 positions, Olivier Charroin and Chris Stewart carry an impressive 14-4 dual record and 15-5 overall.
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 12 of the last 16 seasons, including a berth into the NCAA round of 16 in 1988, 1990, 1991 (quarterfinals), 1995 and 1999.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Senior Mirza Duranovic has claimed 102 career singles victories ... senior Matt Klinger holds a .670 career winning percentage in singles, recording a 79-39 mark ... in its 12 victories this year, ASU has outscored its opponents 68-15 ... Coach Lou Belken is just one win shy of 250 ... ASU is also one win shy of 600 victories in the program's history (since 1962) ... with the exception of one dual, all of ASU's losses have been by teams ranked nationally in the top-18 ... ASU finished tied for fifth in the Pac-10 Conference with a 3-4 mark ... ASU won its three duals heading into regional play ... Klinger received an invitation to the NCAA Individual Singles Championship, while Klinger and teammate Mitchell Bowen received an invitation to the NCAA Doubles Championship.