Women's Tennis Hosts No. 5 USC and No. 12 UCLA
March 22, 2005
ON TAP: The Arizona State University women's tennis team (5-4, 1-2 Pac-10) will host fifth-ranked USC (10-1) on Friday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. and 12th-ranked UCLA (9-4) on Saturday, March 26 at 12:00 p.m. This will be the first meeting between the schools this year as rain cancelled the February 18-19 duals in Los Angeles.
LAST TIME OUT: ASU took the early lead against Minnesota, claiming the sweep in doubles to take the first point. The Sun Devils didn't let up in singles action, as they took five of six singles matches to earn the 6-1 victory.
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.
POOLER/COLALILLO HEATING UP: Sophomore Kady Pooler and senior Lauren Colalillo have combined to win 13 of their 15 singles duals this year. Pooler has won eight of her nine duals, while Colalillo has won five of her six duals (all in straight sets except one).
HEAD COACH Sheila McInerney: Sheila McInerney is in 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 314-198, 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.
HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past seven seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 72-30 (.706) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center. The Devils non-conference record is even more impressive with a 64-20 (.762) mark.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again, ASU is taking on a strong non-conference slate along with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference. With this weekend's dual against USC and UCLA, six of ASU's last eight opponents were/are ranked in the top-25. Overall, 15 of ASU's 20 opponents earned NCAA bids to last year's tournament (five to the Round of 16/four to the quarterfinals), while 12 of ASU's 2005 opponents are currently in the top-25, including five of the top-12 teams.
DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: In the first ITA computer rankings (March 22), ASU lands at No. 36. In doubles, the team of Lauren Colalillo and Kady Pooler move up to No. 21, while the duo of Sabrina Capannolo and Jessica Leitch check in at No. 55.
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