Men's Tennis Travels To No. 7 Stanford And No. 3 California
April 9, 2003
ON TAP: The Arizona State men's tennis team (8-9, 3-1 Pac-10) will travel to the Bay Area to face No. 7 Stanford (16-3, 3-0 Pac-10) on Friday, April 11 at 1:30 p.m. and No. 3 California (16-3, 2-1 Pac-10) on Saturday, April 12 at 12:00 p.m. Earlier this year in Tempe, California edged ASU, 4-3, while Stanford defeated the Devils 5-2. Both of the duals in the Bay Area will count towards the standings.
LAST TIME OUT: The Devils had a very successful Pac-10 weekend as they upset No. 11 Washington, 4-3 and completed the sweep with a 4-3 win over Oregon. Against UW, ASU dropped the doubles point, but rebounded with four singles wins. Olivier Charroin immediately stepped up to defeat Christoph Palmanshofer 6-1, 6-1, while Chris Stewart beat Fred Sundsten 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, and fellow Devil Chris Letcher ran off with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Ari Strasberg. In the final, and deciding match of the day, Ryan McBride played an intense match versus UW's Dillon Ruby, which McBride finally won, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, to ensure the victory. Against the Ducks, The match started well for the Devils as they took the doubles point with Stewart and Chris Letcher defeating No. 42-ranked duo of Sven Swinnen and Oded Teig 8-5 while fellow Devils McBride and Pim Van Mele beat Jason Menke and Arron Spencer 8-4. ASU's Chris Letcher, Charroin and McBride all won their singles matches, in what proved to be a quick round of singles as only one match advanced to three sets.
250/600: With the 6-1 victory against Santa Clara two historical records were set. Head coach Lou Belken achieved his 250th career win, while Arizona State earned the 600th win in the program's history.
HEAD COACH LOU BELKEN: In his 21st season as head coach, Lou Belken has produced 14 All-Americans and 15 All-Pac-10 selections, including NCAA singles champion and ATP professional Sargis Sargsian. Belken is also only the 12th coach (currently only the second active) in Arizona State athletic history to achieve the 20 season milestone. Belken, the 1999 Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year and Region VIII Coach of the Year, has guided the Sun Devils to NCAA postseason berths in 11 of the last 15 years, including five berths in the NCAA round of 16 and one quarterfinal appearance. Academically since 1991, Belken has placed 15 players on the Pacific-10 All-Academic teams and has placed several players on the GTE Academic All-American teams.
DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: As a team, Arizona State jumped 11 slots to a season-high No. 29 in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA. In doubles, the duo of Olivier Charroin and Chris Stewart are No. 24. Pim Van Mele made his way up the singles rankings to No. 81, while Chris Letcher enters the national rankings for the first time at No. 106.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again the Devils will face a strong non-conference slate along with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference. Ten ASU opponents earned NCAA bids last year, while eight of this year's opponents are ranked in the top-25. The Pac-10 comprises four of the nation's top-10 teams.
DOUBLES SUCCESS: The doubles team of juniors Olivier Charroin and Chris Stewart's success last season has continued into this season. The pair, currently ranked No. 24 in the country by the ITA, posted an 8-1 mark in the fall after winning the Southern California Regional doubles championship. The pair then went on to the ITA National Indoors doubles championship where they advanced to the second round. Dating back to last season, Charroin and Stewart are a combined 31-11. They are 6-5 in dual action this year at the No. 1 slot with a 14-6 overall mark. The duo recorded a perfect 12-0 dual record at the No. 3 slot last year, finishing at 16-5 overall with a team-leading 8-4 Pac-10 record. Ryan McBride and Pim Van Mele are just as strong at the No. 3 slot where they have lost only twice at 12-2. The duo are also 1-0 at the No. 2 slot.