No. 25 Women's Tennis To Host No. 11 UCLA and No. 9 USC This Week
April 9, 2009
The 25th-ranked Women's Tennis team (10-6, 3-2 Pac-10) returns home this weekend to battle it out against another two Pac-10 foes. The Devils will face the No. 11 UCLA Bruins (15-5, 3-2 Pac-10) on Friday, April 10 at 1:30 p.m. The next day they take on ninth-ranked USC Women of Troy (17-2, 5-0 Pac-10) at 12:00 p.m. Both games will take place in Tempe at ASU's Whiteman Tennis Center.
The Sun Devils
Coming off a difficult trip last weekend that saw them drop two conference games to No. 10 Stanford and No. 8 Cal, the team will fight to keep its top 25 ranking, and winning conference record, against two competitive Pac-10 teams. ASU boasts three ranked singles players: No. 3 Kelcy McKenna, No. 53 Nadia Abdala and No. 92 Micaela Hein, while bringing to the courts two nationally-ranked doubles teams: No. 13 Kelcy McKenna/Micaela Hein and No. 71, sisters Laila and Nadia Abdala.
The Bruins come to Tempe confident after posting wins over Washington and Washington State last weekend, moving them up one spot to No. 11 in the national rankings. The team has three ranked singles players: No. 16 Yasmin Schnack, No. 45 Andrea Remynse, No. 90 Maya Johansson as well as three ranked doubles teams: No. 2 Andrea Remynse/Yasmin Schnack, No. 30 Stephanie Wetmore/Carling Seguso, No. 33 Ashley Joelson/Yasmin Schnack. In their last meeting with ASU, the Devils lost 4-3 but posted impressive wins in singles play, starting with No. 3 Kelcy McKenna's defeat of (then No. 19) Yasmin Schnack 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. Sisters Laila and Nadia Abdala upset two of the Bruins ranked contenders as Nadia ousted then 27th-ranked Andrewa Remynse 7-5, 2-6, (11-9) and Laila took down (then No. 81) Maya Johansson 5-7, 6-4, (10-8).
Women of Troy
USC is on a nine-game winning streak and currently undefeated in conference play, with a 17-2 overall record and 5-0 in the Pac-10. They bring with them five ranked players, three of whom are in the top 35: No. 18 Maria Sanchez, No. 26 Amanda Fink, No. 33 Sarah Fansler, No. 65 Alison Ramos and No. 68 Gabriela Niculescu. They are also fierce in doubles play, with three ranked teams: No. 5 Amanda Fink/Gabriela Niculescu, No. 23 Gabriela Niculescu/Maria Sanchez and No. 56 Sarah Fansler/Lyndsay Kinstler. The Devils are 19-41 all-time against USC. At their last meeting in Los Angeles, No. 53 Nadia Abdala upset (then No. 22) Sarah Fansler 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-5). Although the Devils' ultimately dropped the match 5-2, third-ranked teammate Kelcy McKenna put away Maria Sanchez 6-2, 6-4.
ASU Head Coach Sheila McInerney is herself a USC Alum. A 1980 graduate of Southern California, she captained the Trojans during her senior season. The four-time All-American also was a four-time Trojan Spirit Award winner, as voted by her teammates. The Trojans won three national championships during McInerney's collegiate career and she was the national collegiate doubles runner-up three times and a singles semifinalist in 1977.
Women's Tennis will host in-state rival the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. in Tempe at ASU's Whiteman Tennis Center.
Legends of the Fall
The Fall 2008 season saw ASU dominating competition at the Cal Nike Invitational, where sophomore Kelcy McKenna took home the ITA Singles Gold crown as well as the ITA Doubles Gold title with teammate Micaela Hein. ASU also collected its third ITA All-American in two years with McKenna.
The 2009 season has seen exciting doubles action from Arizona State, with the return of partners Micaela Hein and Kelcy McKenna, who finished with an impressive 17-4 overall record in 2008. Senior Laila Abdala will also pair up for a final season with her sister, junior Nadia Abdala. The sisters will be in quest of success after posting 10 wins last season.
To Be the Best...
The Sun Devils have traditionally played one of the most rigorous schedules in the nation and this season has been no different. The team has been tested with a mixture of strong non-conference play and strenuous Pac-10 matchups, including this week's contest against two top teams.
Where They Stack Up
Last year, the Sun Devils finished the season ranked at No. 23 posting a 15-8 overall record, a fourth place conference finish and making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Arizona State is currently ranked 25th with four returning letter winners and powerhouse Kelcy McKenna, who has steadily held her No. 3 ranking all season.
At The Helm
Coach Sheila McInerney enters her 25th season at the helm of the Sun Devil program. In 2008, she led the team to a university record 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance following a winning 15-8 season. Those wins saw ASU upset NCAA Champion UCLA, as well as conquer Stanford for the first time in program history.
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TOMORROW | 5:30pm PTLive