Men's Tennis Opens 2005 Season Hosting New Mexico State and UC Santa Barbara
Feb. 2, 2005
ON TAP: The Arizona State men's tennis team (0-0) will begin the 2005 dual season at the Whiteman Tennis Center, hosting New Mexico State (0-2) on Saturday, February 5 at 12:00 p.m. and UC Santa Barbara (2-1) on Sunday, February 7 at 10:30 a.m. The Sun Devils hold a 26-3 all-time lead over the Aggies and an 8-5 all-time lead over the Gauchos.
NEW FACES:The Sun Devils welcome two new players to the 2005 team. Both players will vie for playing time in both the singles and doubles lineups. Freshman Mike Beatty comes to Tempe from Cincinnati, Ohio while freshman Jeff Moghina is a native to Arizona, coming to ASU from Glendale, Ariz.
FALL WRAPUP: The Sun Devils saw much success in the Fall season, as the men claimed the singles and doubles titles at the Milwaukee Invitational. Christopher Biro took the singles title, defeating teammate Andy Columbo, 7-6, 3-6, 6-1, ending the fall season with an 11-match winning streak. Columbo and Jonathan Kinsella claimed the doubles crown, winning four matches enroute to victory. In the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, the Sun Devils Biro took the singles title while the duo of Biro and Nick Hegarty took second-place honors in the doubles tournament. Four of the six returning players ended the fall season with a winning record.
HEAD COACH Lou Belken: In his 23rd season as head coach, Lou Belken has produced 14 All-Americans and 17 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 14 of the last 17 years, including five berths in the NCAA round of 16 and one quarterfinal appearance. Academically since 1991, Belken has placed 19 players on the Pacific-10 All-Academic teams and has placed several players on the GTE Academic All-American teams. In 2003, Belken guided ASU to a fourth-place (3-3) finish in the extremely competitive Pacific-10 Conference, its best finish since the 1999 season. In 2004, he lead the team to NCAA Regional action for the 14th time and for the 10th time in the past 11 years, winning their first-round matchup before falling to the No.1 team in the second-round.
HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past five seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 56-24 (.700) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center, and a 41-21 (.661) mark against non-conference teams.
DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: As a team, Arizona State begins the 2005 season at No. 33 in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA. Clint Letcher opens up the season ranked No. 84, followed closely by teammate Jonathan Kinsella at No. 86 and Andy Colombo at No. 117. The doubles team of Columbo and Kinsella open the dual season with a No. 43 ranking.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again the Devils will face a strong non-conference slate along with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference.