No. 6 Women's Tennis Hosts Northern Arizona And San Diego

Feb. 5, 2003

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ON TAP: The sixth-ranked Arizona State women's tennis team (2-0) will open their 2003 home campaign, playing their next five duals at the Whiteman Tennis Center. The Sun Devils will first take on Northern Arizona (2-4) on Friday, February 7 at 1:30 p.m. and then host San Diego (1-3) on Sunday, February 9 at 11:00 a.m. ASU did not face NAU last year, but defeated USD in San Diego by a 7-0 score.

LAST TIME OUT: The Devils posted two 6-1 wins in Williamsburg, Virginia defeating Mississippi and 16th-ranked William & Mary. Against Ole Miss, ASU swept through the doubles and won five of the six singles matches. Against William & Mary, the two teams split the first two doubles matches, with ASU winning at No. 1 and the Tribe winning at No. 3. With the match on court two left to decide who would win the team point, ASU's 37th-ranked Mhairi Brown and Cindy Sureephong stepped up to defeat Megan Muth and Amy Wei 8-5 to capture the doubles point. Things started hot for the Sun Devils in singles, as the team won the first set in all six matches. The Sun Devils faltered only once with Joslynn Burkett just barely falling to Lena Sherbakov 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a tough match. The Sun Devils were flawless in the rest of the day's match, sweeping the rest of the singles matches and taking home a 6-1 victory.

HEAD COACH SHEILA McINERNEY: Enters her 19th season at the helm of the Sun Devil program after leading her team to a NCAA Round of 16 appearance and a No. 9 national ranking in 2002. McInerney has also guided ASU to eight quarterfinal appearances in her tenure, and has made the NCAA tournament in 17 of her 18 seasons. McInerney was also selected as the head coach of the 2001-2002 USA Tennis Collegiate team. In 1997, McInerney was honored as the ITA National Coach of the Year after guiding the Sun Devils to a 15-7 record and a No. 7 national ranking. She also garnered 1997 Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors and is a three time (1988, '90, '01) West Region ITA Coach of the Year. McInerney, who owns a career record of 292-168 (.635), posted three 20-win seasons (1986, '90, '01) to her credit and has guided the Devils to 15 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. ASU has finished in the top-10 in five of the past six seasons and an astounding 13 times in her 18 seasons. McInerney has tutored 23 All-Americans and 13 different all-conference players.

DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: As a team, Arizona State is No. 6 in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Preseason Rankings, administered by the ITA. In singles, Adria Engel is No. 21, Dora Krstulovic comes in at No. 39 and Mhairi Brown at No. 109. In doubles, Engel and Krstulovic begin at No. 20, while Brown and Cindy Sureephong check in at No. 37.

SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again the Devils will face a strong non-conference slate along with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference. Thirteen ASU opponents earned NCAA bids last year, while nine of ASU's opponents are ranked in the top-25. The Pac-10 comprises five of the nation's top-10 teams and seven of the nine Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top-20.

HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past five seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 55-14 (.797) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center, while posting a 25-5 (.821) mark the past two seasons. The Devils non-conference record is even more impressive over the past five seasons with a 45-6 (.882) mark over that span.

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