Men's Tennis Hosts No. 25 Wake Forest And San Diego State
March 10, 2003
ON TAP: The Arizona State men's tennis team (4-6, 1-0 Pac-10) will continue their five match homestand when they host 25th-ranked Wake Forest (6-3) on Wednesday, March 12 at 1:30 p.m. and San Diego State (4-7) on Saturday, March 15 at 12:00 p.m. ASU holds a 1-0 all-time edge on Wake Forest and a 21-1 all-time mark against San Diego State.
LAST TIME OUT: The Devils loss two hard fought battles at home to fifth-ranked California, 4-3, and sixth-ranked Stanford, 5-2. Against Cal, ASU was flawless in the doubles as they won all three matches. In singles action, the Devils fell just one match shy of victory. Both the Letchers were just as successful in singles as they were in doubles. Clinton Letcher defeated Balazs Veress, 6-4, 7-5, during which Chris Letcher defeated Steve Berke. Against the Cardinal in doubles, the Devils were able to seal one victory, with Pim Van Mele and Ryan McBride winning on the No. 3 court. In singles, ASU played well, but were only able to take two victories by Van Mele and Chris Letcher.
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 six out of the 10 doubles points this season, and are a combined 19-11 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 30-9. They are 6-3 in dual action this year at the No. 1 slot with a 14-4 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 8-1.
HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past five seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 51-19 (.729) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center, and a 38-15 (.717) mark against non-conference teams.