No. 4 USC Snaps No. 17 ASU's Win Streak, 5-2

Feb. 24, 2006

Tempe, Ariz. - The No. 17 Arizona State Sun Devils were handed their first defeat of the season by the No. 4 USC Trojans, falling 5-2 in their first Pac-10 conference match of the season. Hosting the Trojans (6-1) at the Whiteman Center in Tempe, the Sun Devils (6-1) won the doubles point but could not maintain their momentum, as the Trojans clinched the match by winning five of six singles contests.

The Trojans came out of the gate strong in the doubles competition, as Dianne Matias and Carine Vermeulen quickly jumped all over ASU's Sabrina Capannolo (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Jessica Leitch (Dallas, Texas), winning the number two doubles spot, 8-1. However, the Sun Devil duo of Laila Abdala (San Diego, Calif.) and Rebecca Rankin (Purley, England) handily defeated Judy DeVera and Amanda Fink, 8-2.

The Sun Devils clinched the doubles point with a big win in the number one spot by the No. 22 ranked pair of Kady Pooler (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Roxanne Clarke (Cape Town, South Africa) over USC's Lindsey Nelson and Luana Magnani, the No. 24 ranked team. The Devils trailed early and seemed to be heading to a 1-0 deficit when Pooler turned the momentum of the match with a big spike at the net which bounced in front of the Trojans and left the court entirely for a Sun Devil point. From their, the Devils took their first lead at 4-3 and won the final four of five games to clinch the match, and doubles point, with an 8-4 victory. With the victory, Pooler and Clarke improved their overall record on the year to 16-3.

However, the Sun Devils could not keep their momentum as the Trojans came out strong in the first set of all six doubles matches and never looked back from there. In the number spot, No. 65 Sabrina Capannolo fell to No. 90 Lindsey Nelson by a score of 6-1, 6-4. Capannolo fell into an early hole in the first set and looked to be making an early exit in the second with a 5-2 deficit when she staved off elimination in three straight games to claw back to within one game before dropping the set and match, 6-4.In the number two spot, No. 93 Kady Pooler had her work cut out for her as she took on the top-ranked singles player in the nation in USC's Amanda Fink. Fink quickly swept past Pooler in the first set, 6-0, and took an early 2-1 lead in the second. From there, Pooler awoke and jumped out to a 5-2 lead before Fink won five straight games to take the second set, 7-5, and the match. Roxanne Clarke recorded the Sun Devils' lone singles point, as she bested No. 23 Dianne Matias, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. After looking sluggish in the first set, Clarke went on a tear, staking herself a 4-1 lead in both the second and third sets to help her take the match.

However, the Sun Devils could not muster another point in the second half of their lineup, as No. 50 Rebecca Rankin fell to USC's No. 48 Luana Magnani in the fourth spot, after getting into early holes in both sets, 6-1, 6-4.Jessica Leitch also fell, playing in the fifth spot, against Carine Vermeulen. Holding an early 3-2 advantage in the first set, Leitch lost the final four of five games in the first set, falling 6-4, and fell in straight games in the second set, 6-0. Freshman Laila Abdala was unable to extend her team-high winning streak, snapping it at eight matches, as she lost the first set to USC's Anca Anastasiu in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (4), and retired with cramps in the second set, trailing 3-2.

The Sun Devils dropped to 6-1 on the year and 0-1 in the Pac-10 conference. They wrap up their homestand on Saturday as they host the No. 11 UCLA Bruins in a Pac-10 conference match, beginning at noon MST from the Whiteman Center in Tempe.

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