Men's Tennis Hosts Rival Arizona On Friday

Feb. 26, 2003

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ON TAP: The Arizona State men's tennis team (3-4, 0-0 Pac-10) will host a single dual this week as the Devils face in-state rival Arizona (5-3, 0-0 Pac-10) on Friday, February 28 at 1:30 p.m. Last season, ASU swept the season series from the Wildcats, winning 7-0 in Tucson and 4-3 in Tempe. To make the match even more important, this will be the first dual that will count towards the Pac-10 standings.

WEEKEND RECAP: The Devils fell to top-ranked UCLA and No. 15 USC each by 6-1 scores last weekend in Los Angeles. Against the Bruins, ASU claimed a doubles match as Ryan McBride and Pim Van Mele won on the No. 3 court. Van Mele was also successful in singles as he defeated Rodrigo Grilli in a third-set tiebreaker, 3-6, 7-6 (3), (10-8). Against the Trojans, the Letcher brothers claimed a doubles win on the No. 2 court, while Chris Letcher also won his singles match over Parker Collins, 6-1, 7-6 (1).

250/600: With the 6-1 victory against Santa Clara two historical records were set. Head coach Lou Belken achieved his 250th career win, while Arizona State earned the 600th win in the program's history.

HEAD COACH LOU BELKEN: In his 21st season as head coach, Lou Belken has produced 14 All-Americans and 15 All-Pac-10 selections, including NCAA singles champion and ATP professional Sargis Sargsian. Belken is also 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 years, including five berths in the NCAA round of 16 and one quarterfinal appearance. Academically since 1991, Belken has placed 15 players on the Pacific-10 All-Academic teams and has placed several players on the GTE Academic All-American teams.

DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: As a team, Arizona State is No. 48 in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA. In doubles, the duo of Olivier Charroin and Chris Stewart are No. 43, while Pim Van Mele enters the national rankings at No. 123.

SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again the Devils will face a strong non-conference slate along with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference. Ten ASU opponents earned NCAA bids last year, while eight of this year's opponents are ranked in the top-25. The Pac-10 comprises four of the nation's top-10 teams and five of the eight Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top-20.

DOUBLES SUCCESS: ASU has won four out of the seven doubles points this season, and are a combined 13-8 in dual play. The doubles team of juniors Olivier Charroin and Chris Stewart's success last season has continued into this season. The pair, currently ranked No. 43 in the country by the ITA, posted an 8-1 mark in the fall after winning the Southern California Regional doubles championship. The pair then went on to the ITA National Indoors doubles championship where they advanced to the second round. Dating back to last season, Charroin and Stewart are a combined 28-8. They are 4-2 this year at the No. 1 slot with a 12-3 overall mark. The duo recorded a perfect 12-0 dual record at the No. 3 slot last year, finishing at 16-5 overall with a team-leading 8-4 Pac-10 record. Ryan McBride and Pim Van Mele have lost only once at the No. 3 slot at 5-1, while the Letcher brothers have evened their record at 3-3 at the No. 2 position.

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