#44 Men's Tennis Head to Georgia to Take on #22 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets; Return Home to Take on #57 Northwestern

Feb. 28, 2006

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Match Point:

The Sun Devils are coming off of two tough losses last weekend to the #23 USC Trojans and #8 UCLA Bruins, neither match counting towards Pac-10 standings. The Devils fall to 5-3 on the season, as they were unable to get things rolling against USC and UCLA, being swept in both matches in doubles, and again in both matches only pulling out one singles win, with freshman T.J. Bellama earning the only points for the Sun Devils with wins over USC's Garrett Snyder and UCLA's Jeremy Drean. The USC Trojans are now 6-4 on the season while UCLA stands at 9-3.

 

On Tap:

Next up, the Devils will look to rebound this Friday as they head to Atlanta to take on the 5-0 #22 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets who have an experienced roster with six returners from last year's squad, while losing three and gaining no newcomers. The #22 Jackets are coming off a narrow win against the #36 Auburn Tigers, who ASU also beat earlier in the season, 4-3. The Yellow Jackets finished last season with a 14-10 overall record, and in sixth place in ACC standings. The match against the Yellow Jackets is set to kick off at GT's BillMooreTennisCenter at 3 p.m. ET. After that the Devils will return back to Tempe to take on the #57 Wildcats of Northwestern who are currently 6-7 on the season coming off a win over the Michigan State Spartans last weekend. The match against the Wildcats will be played Monday, March 6 at 1:30 p.m. at ASU's WhitemanTennisCenter.

 

Series History:

The Devils are looking to retaliate against the Yellow Jackets to even out the series history between the two as Georgia Tech leads it 1-0. Against the Wildcats, the Devils hold the edge with a 1-0 win record.

 

Home Sweet Home:

Currently the Sun Devils are 5-1 on their home courts at ASU's Whiteman Tennis Center, and for the past six years have posted a 65-35 (.650) overall dual record at home and a 48-27 (.640) record at home against non-conference teams.

 

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Time-tested Leadership:

In his 24th 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 third active, including the Women's Tennis Coach, Sheila McInerney and Gymnastics' Coach, John Spini) in ArizonaState athletic history to achieve the 20 season milestone.

 

The Votes Are In:

The Devils are currently ranked 44 in the ITA Fila Rankings, jumping from their last ranking of 46. They finished last season ranked 50 by the ITA.

 

Tough Schedule/Tougher Conference:

The Devils as always find themselves competing against some of the best teams in the world, in one of the hardest tennis conferences in the nation in the Pac-10. Currently, four of the eight Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top 25.

 

Depth Chart:

The Devils have a great roster this year as they have five returning players with an older cast of one senior, Ryan McBride, and three juniors: Christopher Biro, Jonathan Kinsella and Nick Hegarty. The roster also includes two sophomores, one returning from last year, Mike Beatty and transfer from Miami, Ryan Waits. Three freshmen also round out the roster, T.J. Bellama, Will Grist and Wes Miller, who have already jumped in to impact the Devils immediately.

 

 

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