#16 Sun Devils Travel to Northwest For a Pair with Washington Schools
April 4, 2006
After dropping two matches in southern California last weekend, the No. 16 Arizona State Sun Devils (10-6, 1-2) are on the road again this week as they take on Washington State (Apr. 7) and Washington (Apr. 8) in the Pacific Northwest in a pair of Pac-10 Conference matches.
The Washington State Cougars are 11-9 on the year and dropped to 0-4 in the Pac-10 Conference after losing to their rival, Washington Huskies, 4-3, in Seattle on March 26, which also dropped them out of the ITA top 75. Under Sheila McInerney, the Sun Devils are 11-0 all-time against the Cougars, and swept the dual in Tempe last year, 7-0.
Washington enters the match at 2-13 (0-4 Pac-10) on the year after losing to No. 23 TCU in Fort Worth, 7-0, on Sunday. The Devils are 12-4 under McInerney against the Huskies after defeating them 5-2 at home last year.
Last Time Out
The Sun Devils dropped two matches in southern California against UCLA and USC last weekend. No. 16 UCLA knocked off the Devils, 6-1, on Friday with Roxanne Clarke earning the only point for ASU. On Saturday, USC defeated the Sun Devils 5-2, with the Devils taking the doubles point and a singles point from Laila Abdala.
The Sun Devils return home next weekend for their final two home matches of the 2006 season, hosting No. 13 California and No. 1 Stanford. The Sun Devils will remain in state for the remainder of their schedule, with a final match at Arizona coming up on April 22.
To Be the Best...
The Sun Devils are without a doubt playing one of the toughest, if not the toughest, schedule in the country this year, combining a difficult non-conference slate with the powerhouses that form their schedule in the Pac-10 South. The Sun Devils have two matches remaining against top 25 teams, including the national number one. The Sun Devils have played five matches against top 10 teams (1-4) and have one more remaining. Against top 25 teams this season, the Devils are owners of a 4-6 record.
Clarke Honored By Pac-10 Again
Junior Roxanne Clarke was again honored by the Pac-10, this time for singles, as the Conference?s Player of the Week for March 20 - 26. No. 98 Clarke defeated Arizona?s No. 54 Danielle Steinberg, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). This was Clarke?s first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor on the singles court and second weekly honor all-time for Arizona State. Clarke and her doubles teammate, Kady Pooler, were named Conference Players of the Week as a doubles team on Feb. 27.
Where they Stack up
In this week?s Fila ITA poll, ASU fell to No. 16 after two tough losses. Despite that, it marks the 15th straight poll in which the Sun Devils have been in the top 30 and their 12th straight in the top 25.
It Takes Two
The Sun Devils? No. 1 doubles team of Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke is having a season for the record books so far. Through 16 matches, they have posted a 21-6 record and became just the fourth doubles team in school history to reach the 20-win plateau, putting them in some very elite company. They currently rank number two all-time for single-season winning percentage with a .777 mark. Here?s a look at the top 10 doubles teams in school history:
* Earned All-American Honors in Doubles
The Sun Devils have two ranked singles players currently and one ranked doubles team. Roxanne Clarke is moving on up as she reached No. 59, up from No. 86, after impressive wins against Arizona and UCLA. No. 116 Sabrina Capannolo stayed in the same position from the last poll. Roxanne Clarke and Kady Pooler are currently ranked No. 43 in doubles.
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.?
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 330-208 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.