Men's Tennis Ends Regular Season With Two In-State Tilts
April 14, 2003
ON TAP: The Arizona State men's tennis team (8-10, 3-2 Pac-10) will end the regular season with two in-state tilts against Northern Arizona (7-15) at home on Wednesday, April 16 at 1:30 p.m. and against Arizona (8-10; 2-4 Pac-10) in Tucson on Saturday, April 19 at 12:00 p.m. The Arizona dual will count towards the final Pac-10 standings. Earlier this year, the Devils defeated the Wildcats, 4-3 in Tempe. ASU holds a 29-0 all-time record against the Lumberjacks.
LAST TIME OUT: The Devils only played one dual in the Bay Area, falling to No. 7 Stanford while the California match was rained out. Despite having four of the six singles matches go into three sets, the Devils could not pull out a hard fought dual as they fell, 7-0. Stanford won the first set in all six singles matches, but the Sun Devils came back to send four of those matches to a third set. At No. 1, 12th-ranked Cardinal senior David Martin outlasted 81st-ranked Pim Van Mele 7-6, 2-6, 6-0. In the other match featuring two ranked players, 61st-ranked Scott Lipsky of Stanford topped 106th-ranked Chris Letcher 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Stanford started the day by winning all three doubles matches for the first point.
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 jumped 11 slots to a season-high No. 29 in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA. In doubles, the duo of Olivier Charroin and Chris Stewart are No. 24. Pim Van Mele made his way up the singles rankings to No. 81, while Chris Letcher enters the national rankings for the first time at No. 106.
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.
DOUBLES SUCCESS: The doubles team of juniors Olivier Charroin and Chris Stewart's success last season has continued into this season. The pair, currently ranked No. 24 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 31-12. They are 6-6 in dual action this year at the No. 1 slot with a 14-7 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 are just as strong at the No. 3 slot where they have lost only twice at 12-2. The duo are also 1-1 at the No. 2 slot.
HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past five seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 55-21 (.724) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center, and a 39-16 (.710) mark against non-conference teams.