Sun Devils Take on Texas A&M In NCAA First Round At Baylor
May 9, 2006
The No. 22 Arizona State Sun Devils earned their nineteenth consecutive NCAA berth, as they were selected to compete against the No. 34 Texas A&M Aggies in the first round of the tournament on the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas on Friday. The winner of the matchup will advance to the second round against the winner of host Baylor (fifth-seed) and Texas Southern on Saturday.
The Aggies enter the tournament with a 15-11 overall record and a 9-2 mark in the Big XII. The Aggies finished tied for second in the Big XII with Texas and behind regional host Baylor. Their number one singles player, Anna Lubinsky, enters the match ranked No. 57 in the country with a 23-14 record. The Sun Devils and the Aggies have hooked up only once in the recorded history of the program, with the Devils winning an 8-1 decision on neutral court on March 3, 1992.
The Sun Devils have never faced either regional host Baylor or Texas Southern in the McInerney era.
School-Record 19 Straight
The Sun Devil women?s tennis team set a school record with its nineteenth straight team selection to the NCAA tournament. The 19 narrowly edges the previous record the men?s golf team held with 18 consecutive selections and marks the 21st selection in Coach McInerney?s 22 years at the helm of ASU. She has 8 times led her team to the round of 8 and 18 to the Sweet 16.
NCAA Singles and Doubles Selections
The NCAA Selection Committee also announced its 64 singles and 32 doubles selections for the NCAA tournaments held following the team championship later this month. Junior Roxanne Clarke was selected as the fifth alternate in the singles tournament. Clarke was also selected with partner Kady Pooler to compete in the NCAA Doubles championship. Pooler and Clarke were selected as one of 17 at-large bids in the field of 32. The singles and doubles competitions begin May 23 at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford and run through May 28.
Clarke Named to All-Pac-10
Junior Roxanne Clarke was selected to the All-Pac-10 honorable mention team this week, The South African native finished the regular season ranked in the top 75 and posted 20 victories in both singles and doubles play. She also won Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on two occasions this season, once for singles on March 27 and once with partner Kady Pooler for doubles on February 26.
Where they Stack up
In the final regular season Fila ITA poll, ASU found itself ranked No. 22. It marks the 19th straight poll in which the Sun Devils have been in the top 30, every poll of the 2006 season, and their 16th straight in the top 25.
To Be the Best...
The Sun Devils have without a doubt played 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 played six matches against top 10 teams (1-5) and 10 matches against the top 25 (4-8). Against ranked opponents this year, the Devils are 8-8, having only played five unranked teams.
Making History, Two At A Time
The Sun Devils? No. 1 doubles players Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke have thus far cemented their names in the ASU record books after an incredible season so far. Their win total of 26 marks the single-season win record for any double team in ASU history. As well, their win percentage of .742 (26-9) is currently the third-best single season mark in school history (min. 20 matches). They advanced to the Pac-10 sems before falling to No. 1 Yelsey and Barnes, the nation?s top-ranked team. and are currently ranked No . 16 in the national ITA doubles poll. There were also selected as an at-large bid to the NCAA doubles tournament:
* Earned All-American Honors in Doubles
The Sun Devils have two ranked singles players currently and one ranked doubles team. Roxanne Clarke rose one spot to 64 and Sabrina Capannolo shot up the rankings to No. 72 (from 106). Roxanne Clarke and Kady Pooler moved up five spots in the doubles poll to No. 16 after reaching the Pac-10 semi-finals.
With her two singles wins and two doubles wins against the Washington schools, junior Rebecca Rankin won her 21st singles match and her 20th doubles match to become the second Sun Devil on this year?s squad to record 20 victories in both categories, joining junior Roxanne Clarke.
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 333-210 (.613) 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.
Friday, May 12
Arizona State (13-8) vs. Texas A&M (15-11)
Baylor (25-3) vs. Texas Southern (16-7)
Saturday, May 13
Live results for all matches, both mens and womens, from the Baylor Regional are available online at www.BaylorBears.com
There are two ticketing options available for next week?s NCAA Tournament?a $30.00 reserved all session three-day pass or daily ticket purchases (two women?s matches on Friday, all three matches on Saturday and Sunday?s men?s match). Tickets purchased on a daily basis are priced at $10 for reserved seats, $5 for adult general admission and $3 for student (under 18) general admission seating (this includes Baylor students with ID). For ticketing information, contact the Baylor Athletic Ticket Office at 254.710.3049.
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