Women's Tennis Hosts No. 21 Tulane
March 23, 2004
ON TAP: The Arizona State women's tennis team (4-9; 0-3 Pac-10) will play their final four home duals of the 2004 season, beginning with a non-conference dual against 21st-ranked Tulane (14-1) on Saturday, March 27 at 12:00 p.m. The Sun Devils will then close their home slate against Harvard (3/30), Washington (4/2) and Washington State (4/3).
LAST TIME OUT: ASU dropped another hard-fought dual in Austin against the No. 11 Longhorns of Texas. The match began well for the Devils as they were able to take the doubles point from the Longhorns. First up, Lauren Colalillo and Kady Pooler came up with a tough 9-8 (7-4) win over Texas' Katie Ruckert and Kendra Strohm. Fellow Devils Joslynn Burkett and Sabrina Capannolo followed up with a 9-7 victory over Longhorns Kelly Baritot and Ristine Olson. But, things went downhill for the Devils as soon as singles started, with the Longhorns stepping up to sweep the first four matches to win the dual. Capannolo played well and took home a singles win over Kelly Baritot with a 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 score. Colalillo also scored a singles win for ASU with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Texas' Ristine Olson, taking her singles win streak to eight straight.
HEAD COACH Sheila McInerney: Sheila McInerney enters her 20th season after leading last year's team to its seventh consecutive (15 of the past 16 seasons) NCAA Round of 16 appearance and a No. 17 national ranking. McInerney also guided Arizona State to eight quarterfinal appearances in her tenure, and has made the NCAA tournament in 18 of her 19 seasons. The 2003 season saw McInerney accomplish another milestone in her illustrious career, earning her 300th career win. She also coached another player to All-American acclaim and helped place four players on the Pac-10 All-Academic teams, tying a school record for most student-athletes selected. McInerney, who owns a career record of 305-188, posted three 20-win seasons (1986, '90, '01) to her credit and guided the Sun Devils to 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The Sun Devils have reached the NCAA quarterfinals eight times under McInerney and have finished in the top-10 five of the past seven seasons and an astounding 13 times in her 19 seasons.
YOUNG/NEW FACES: McInerney welcomed six freshmen players to this year's team with many of them having contributed in both the singles and doubles lineups: Ebru Burduroglu (Istanbul, Turkey), Sabrina Capannolo (Las Vegas, Nev.), Wendy Pilecka (Pribram Czech Rep.), Kady Pooler (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), Rebecca Rankin (Purley, England), Vana Tomas (Split Croatia).
TOUGH LUCK: The young Devils are having a difficult time this season closing out duals. ASU has dropped their past four duals by just one point, all to highly-ranked teams.
HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past six seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 66-25 (.725) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center, while posting a 46-19 (.708) mark the past four seasons. The Devils non-conference record is even more impressive over the past six seasons with a 58-15 (.795) mark.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again the Devils will face a strong non-conference slate (maybe the strongest ever) along with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference. Fifteen of ASU's 21 opponents earned NCAA bids last year, while 15 of ASU's opponents this year are in the top-25. Additionally, the Pac-10 comprises five of the nation's top-12 teams.
DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: For the first time since the 1996 season, the Sun Devils are not ranked in the top-25 as they come in at No. 47 in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA. The freshmen doubles team of Kady Pooler and Rebecca Rankin are 41st, while Cindy Sureephong and Wendy Pilecka are 50th in the country.