Women's Tennis Opens 2005 Dual Season Hosting UC Davis

Jan. 19, 2005

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ON TAP: The Arizona State women's tennis team (0-0) will begin the 2005 dual season playing host to UC Davis (0-0) on Saturday, January 22 at 10:00 a.m. The Sun Devils, under Head Coach Sheila McInerney, are 20-0 all-time and 15-0 at home opening the dual season.

SUN DEVILS WIN TOURNAMENT TITLES: Jessica Leitch breezed to the Flight 2 Singles Championship at the Freeman Memorial Championship in Las Vegas with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Stanford's Joanna Kao. Leitch, a freshman from Dallas, Texas, then teamed up with Joslynn Burkett and advanced all the way to the championship of the Flight 1 Doubles Consolation. However, in the Flight 2 Doubles Consolation Championship, ASU did prevail as the tandem of Sabrina Capannolo and Rebecca Rankin defeated South Carolina's Grace Blakely/Justine Walsh, 8-3.

2004 REVIEW: Recorded an 8-15 record, tied for eighth place in the Pac-10 Conference with a 1-7 mark...finished ranked 36th in the country by the ITA after advancing to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Team Championships...eighth straight season ASU advanced to the Round of 16...advanced to the postseason for the 19th time in 20 seasons, and 17th straight...posted two upset wins to get to the NCAA round of 16...defeated No. 19 LSU (4-1) in first round play and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NCAA Tournament by shutting out Texas (4-0), the region's top-seed and 12th-ranked team in the country.

HEAD COACH Sheila McInerney: Sheila McInerney enters her 21st season at the helm of the Sun Devil program after leading last year's team to its eighth consecutive (18 of the past 20 seasons) NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2004. McInerney has also guided Arizona State to eight quarterfinal appearances in her tenure, and has made the NCAA tournament in 19 of her 20 seasons. ASU is one of only five schools (Stanford, Duke, Georgia, Tennessee) to have reached the NCAA Sweet 16 or better for the past eight years. McInerney, who owns a career record of 309-194, posted three 20-win seasons (1986, '90, '01) to her credit and guided the Sun Devils to 17 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. ASU has finished in the top-10 five of the past eight seasons, and an astounding 13 times in her 20 seasons.

NEW FACES: With such a young team (loss of only one senior to graduation), McInerney welcomed two new players to the program. Freshmen Jennifer Kaufman (Tucson, Ariz.) and Jessica Leitch (Dallas, Texas), who was the first player to ever win the 4A Texas state championship in singles and doubles.

HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past seven seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 68-27 (.716) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center. The Devils non-conference record is even more impressive with a 61-19 (.763) mark.

SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again, ASU will face a strong non-conference slate along with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference. Fifteen of ASU's 20 opponents earned NCAA bids to last year's tournament (five to the Round of 16/four to the quarterfinals), while eight of ASU's 2005 opponents are currently in the top-25, including six of the top-11 teams.

DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: ASU open's the 2005 season at No. 38 in the ITA Rankings. Senior Joslynn Burkett begins at No. 100, while the doubles teams of Burkett/Wendy Pilecka check in at No. 47, and Sabrina Capannolo/Lauren Colalillo come in at No. 53.