#54 Men's Tennis Look For a Pair of Wins in California Against #24 California and #15 Stanford

April 14, 2006

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Match Point:

The Sun Devils spilt their two-matches over the weekend as they fell to the #33 Washington Huskies and rallied back to defeat the Oregon Ducks 6-1 on their home courts at ASU's WhitemanTennisCenter. The Devils are now 8-11 overall with an even 2-2 standing in Pac-10 play with two more Pac-10 conference matches coming up this weekend. ASU's Jonathan Kinsella and Nick Hegarty both grabbed their tenth win of the season over the weekend, with Kinsella upsetting the #32 Alex Slovic of Washington in the one-spot. The Sun Devils hung tough against the #33 Huskies of Washington, but fell just shy in a 4-3 decision which saw the deciding point come in a tie-break between T.J. Bellama and UW's Andy Kuharsky. The Sun Devils came back to soundly defeat the Oregon Ducks in conference play with a 6-1 decision, where ASU only lost a point due to an injury retirement. The Sun Devils are currently at 2-2 in conference play and holding an 8-11 overall record going into this weekend's action.

 

On Tap:

Next up, the Sun Devils will head to California to face off against Pac-10 foes, #24 California (12-5, 5-3 Pac-10) and the #15 Stanford Cardinal (12-3, 3-1 Pac-10) this Friday and Saturday. Both matches will count towards Pac-10 standings.

 

Scouting the Bears:

The #24 Cal Bears are currently 12-5 on the season with a 5-3 Pac-10 record and are coming off of a spilt weekend after defeating USC 4-3 and falling to #11 UCLA 3-4. Leading the Bears is the eleventh-ranked senior Conor Niland, who was named Pac-10 Player of the Week this week; his third Player of the Week award this season. Junior, Tyler Browne is also currently ranked 98th by the ITA. The pair also combine as the 22nd-ranked doubles duo.

 

Scouting the Cardinal:

The #15 Stanford Cardinals are currently 12-3 on the season with a 3-1 Pac-10 conference record after going 1-1 last weekend with a 6-1 loss to the #11 UCLA Bruins and a 4-3 win over the USC Trojans. The Cardinal squad is led by the 14th-ranked Matt Bruch as well as #24 KC Corkery. Stanford's double's duo of KC Corkery and James Pade are currently ranked 13th by the ITA.

 

Series History:

The Sun Devils are currently led in all-time match-ups by both Cal and Stanford, and their last meetings the Sun Devils fell to the Bears, but topped Stanford 4-3 on their home courts in early March.

 

Home Sweet Home:

Currently the Sun Devils are 8-6 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.

 

In the Sweet Six-Spot:

Thus far this season, the Sun Devils have compiled winning percentage of 79% in the six-spot, where thus far on the season they have only lost four matches.

 

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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 54 in the ITA Fila Rankings, falling from their last ranking of 51. They finished last season ranked 50 by the ITA. Sun Devil junior, Jonathan Kinsella has also jumped into the rankings at #104.

 

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, three 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, two of whom have already jumped in to impact the Devils immediately.

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