Sun Devils Travel North to Face No. 1 Stanford, No. 8 Cal

Feb. 28, 2006

Coming off two losses in the opening weekend of Pac-10 play, the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-2) will try and rebound as they travel to northern California to take on top-ranked Stanford on Friday and No. 9 California on Saturday. The Sun Devils will return home and take Monday off before returning to action on Tuesday, hosting No. 21 Wake Forest in Tempe.

The Match-Up

The Stanford Cardinal (9-0) are entering the match in the top spot of the rankings for the 36th straight poll and are currently riding a 67-match win streak. Stanford defeated both Washington and Washington State on the road last week, 7-0, in Pac-10 conference matches. That marked the eighth and ninth sweep this season for the Cardinal.

The No. 8-ranked California Golden Bears (8-3) also earned a pair of sweeps against the Washington schools last weekend. The Golden Bears split their matches with the Devils last year, with each team having won on the road.

The Sun Devils return home for a midweek match on Tuesday against the No. 20 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-1). The Deacons, who have been idle since Feb. 18, will travel to Duke this Wednesday before making the trip out west.

Up Next

The Sun Devils' end their span of five matches in 12 days and will travel to Eugene, Ore. for a Pac-10 conference match against the No. 36 Ducks.

Pooler-Clarke Win POW Honors

Sun Devil juniors Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke have been named the Pac-10 Women's Tennis Players of the Week for Feb. 21 - 26, Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen announced on Tuesday. They posted a 2-0 record against the southern California schools, including a victory over the No. 24-ranked doubles team. Pooler and Clarke became the first athletes in school history to earn the Conference award for Arizona State University and are the first doubles team in the conference to earn the award. Junior Sabrina Capannolo previously received a nomination for the award for Feb. 21-28 after going 3-0 in the number one spot.

Quick Notes

• The Sun Devils are currently in a span of six matches against top 25 opponents, inluding matchups against No. 1, 4, 8, and 11.

• Pooler and Clarke, fresh off Player of the Week honors, are riding a five-match winning streak in doubles, and have won eight of their last 10.

• The Sun Devils have used a different lineup in seven of eight matches.

• The Sun Devils have been in ranked in the top 30 in the last 11 consecutive polls and have risen as high as No. 14 this year.

Clean Sweep

The Sun Devils recorded their fourth consecutive sweep of the season against Cal Poly on Feb. 12. It marks just the third time that the Sun Devils have strung together four sweeps. They last did it in 2001 and their longest streak was in Coach McInerney's first year, 1985, when they recorded five straight 9-0 sweeps. On the flip side, UCLA's sweep of the Devils was only the third time they had been shut out in their previous 27 matches. The only other two came against No. 1 Stanford last season.

Mix and Match

So far the Sun Devils have mixed up their lineup for their dual matches pretty well. The Sun Devils have used a different lineup in seven of their first eight matches (UCLA, USC). Juniors Kady Pooler and Rebecca Rankin have seen the most variety, playing in three differnent spots and compiling a combined 10-4 record. Coach McInerney has also used seven different doubles teams in matches, bringing the total number of different doubles combinations for the season to 13.

Honors for Coach Mac

Sheila McInerney was named the Phoenix Womens Sports Association's 2005 Female Coach of the Year at the university level. She will be honored on Feb. 11 at the PWSA's annual banquet which corresponds with the end of ASU's Women and Girls in Sports Week. McInerney was honored not only for her accomplishments during her 22 seasons at ASU, but also for her contribution to 'helping girls and women find their power through sports.'

It Takes Two

The Sun Devils' No. 1 doubles team of Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke have climbed to a No. 22 ranking nationally by the ITA, after entering the season at No. 27 nationally and No. 3 in the West Region. The duo of juniors have performed remarkably well so far, posting a team-best 17-3 record (.850) and are riding a five-match win streak, including wins against USC and UCLA. Their only loss in match play this season came against New Mexico's national No. 3-ranked doubles team.

Where they Stack up

The Sun Devils are ranked No. 17 in the fourth Fila ITA poll of the year, thanks in no small part to their upset of No. 3-ranked Texas in the season opener. It marks the tenth straight poll that the Devils have been in the top 30. In last week's first singles/doubles poll of the season, junior Rebecca Rankin jumped 50 spots in the rankings to the No. 50 spot. Junior Sabrina Capannolo also moved up, now at No. 65 from 100 and junior Kady Pooler entered the rankings, debuting at No. 93. The doubles team of Pooler and Clarke also moved up five spots to No. 22.

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. The Sun Devils are in a span of five matches against teams in the Top 25, including the next three matches against teams ranked No. 1, 8, and 20. 16 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. Of ASU's eight non-conference opponents, five of them are currently ranked. So far, ASU's record against top 25 opponents is 1-2.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

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.

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 326-204 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.

25 Years of Women's Championships

The NCAA is celebrating the 2005-2006 athletic season as the 25th anniversary of the Division I, II, and III women's tennis championships. The NCAA first began sponsoring women's championships in 1981 when field hockey, swimming, cross country, volleyball, gymnastics, basketball, golf, lacrosse, rowing, softball, and track, as well as tennis, recognized their first NCAA champions. Today, the NCAA sponsors 44 women's championships in 20 sports, providing more than 150,000 women with an opportunity to compete for national titles each year.

 

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