No. 22 Men's Tennis Opens Up Pac-10 Play This Weekend Against No. 4 USC and No. 8 UCLA
March 10, 2004
ON TAP: The No. 22 Arizona State men's tennis team opens up the Pac-10 season this weekend as they head to California to take on No. 4 USC and No. 8 UCLA. This is the second meeting of the year for the Sun Devils against both teams, as ASU defeated the Bruins, 5-2, in their first meeting and fell, 6-1, to the Trojans. The Sun Devils will square off against the Trojans on Friday, March 12 at 1:30 p.m. at Marks Tennis Stadium. They follow up with a dual against the Bruins on Saturday, March 13 at 1:00 p.m. at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
LAST WEEK: The Sun Devils continued dual action this past weekend as they hosted No. 5 TCU, No. 18 Pepperdine, and No. 28 Washington in the Arizona State Quadrangular at the Whiteman Tennis Center. ASU faced off against Pepperdine in the first round of action on Sunday, March 7, and fell 4-1. The lone win in the dual came from Jonathan Kinsella, playing in the No. 4 singles position, as he defeated his opponent in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. The Devils then took on the Washington Huskies on Monday, March 8, were they were unable to pull out the victory, losing 4-2. The bright spots for ASU in the dual came from the No. 3 and No. 6 singles positions respectively. Playing No. 3 singles for the Sun Devils, Andy Colombo defeated his opponent, 7-5, 6-4, to earn his first singles victory since returning from an injury. Biro, the Sun Devils No. 6 singles player, pulled off the win with a straight set, 6-2, 6-1, victory over the Huskies.
DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: As a team, Arizona State moved down two spots in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA, from No. 20 to No. 22. One Sun Devil remains in the national NCAA singles rankings. Senior Chris Stewart, ASU's No. 1 singles player, moved up in the rankings from No. 98 to No. 93 in the nation. Stewart is 4-5 on the season which includes a huge upset against then ranked No. 12 Tobias Clemens of UCLA, who following the most recent rankings has moved to No. 6, which helped propel the Sun Devils to the stunning upset victory.
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 12 of this year's opponents are ranked in the top-25. The Pac-10 comprises five of the nation's top-19 teams.
HEAD COACH BELKEN: In his 22nd season as head coach, Lou Belken has produced 14 All-Americans and 16 All-Pac-10 selections, including NCAA singles champion and ATP professional Sargis Sargsian. Last year, Belken guided ASU to a fourth-place (3-3) finish in the extremely competitive Pacific-10 Conference, its best finish since the 1999 season, while his team also advanced to NCAA Regional action for the 13th time and for the ninth time in the past 10 years.
HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past five seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 52-21 (.712) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center, and a 38-21 (.644) mark against non-conference teams.