Sun Devils Open 2006 Season at National Collegiate Tennis Classic in Las Vegas
Jan. 10, 2006
The Arizona State Sun Devils begin their 2006 campaign this weekend as they travel to Las Vegas for one last tuneup before the season begins. Seven Sun Devils will compete in the National Collegiate Tennis Classic, hosted by UNLV, on January 13 - 15.
The Sun Devils return home next weekend for their season debut, and home opener, against No. 3 Texas. The Longhorns were one of last year's NCAA finalists and are once again eyeing the Big 12 title this year. The match will begin at noon on January 21 at the Whiteman Center in Tempe.
Legends of the Fall
The Sun Devils had a very strong showing during their 2005 fall season. At the ASU/Thunderbird Classic Tournament in late October, junior Rebecca Rankin, now ranked No. 100 by the ITA, advanced to the final round of the tournament, taking second place, and junior Roxanne Clarke took third. In early October, Clarke also claimed the Gold Consolation Bracket title at the Cal Nike Invitational and freshman Laila Abdala won the Blue Consolation Bracket.
It Takes Two
The Sun Devils' No. 1 doubles team of Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke enter the season ranked No. 27 nationally by the ITA and No. 3 in the West Region. The duo of juniors performed remarkably well during the fall season, posting a team-best 9-1 record. Clarke and Pooler also combined for an 18-8 singles record as well, with Clarke leading the team with an 11-3 mark.
To Be the Best...
Once again, the Sun Devils will play one of the toughest schedules in the country, combining a strong non-conference slate with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference schedule. This year, the Sun Devil's will face 11 teams currently ranked in the Top-25, including the season-opener against last year's national runner-up Texas and two matches against No. 1 Stanford. 15 of this year's 21 matches come against teams ranked by the ITA and 12 of this year's 21 opponents appeared in last year's NCAA tournament, while five of them advanced to the Sweet 16.
Where they Stack up
In the ITA's first poll of 2006, the Sun Devils were ranked No. 26 as a team. Last year, the Sun Devils finished ranked No. 29 in the country after posting an 11-8 overall record and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament. It marks the seventh straight poll that the Devils have been in the top 30.
Note About Rankings:The team poll rankings were selected by the ITA rankings committee, while the singles and doubles poll were done by a computer formula. September's preseason poll had been previously selected by hand. Team polling will be selected by computer average beginning with the March 7th poll.
At The Helm
Coach Sheila McInerney enters her 22nd season at the helm of the Sun Devil program, the seventh longest tenure of any head coach at ASU, after leading last year's team to its 18th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament. In her 21 seasons, McInerney has led her team to 20 berths in the tournament. Prior to last year's exit in the second round, McInerney had led eight straight teams to the Sweet 16. She holds a career record of 320-202 and has posted three 20-win seasons in her career. ASU has finished in the top-10 of the nation an astounding 13 times under McInerney's tutelage.
The Sun Devils have adjusted the day and time of their Pac-10 match against Oregon in Eugene. The match will take place on Saturday, March 11, and begins at noon.