No. 23 Men's Tennis Hit The Road To Take On No. 20 California and No. 6 Stanford

Feb. 24, 2004

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ON TAP:The Arizona State men's tennis team (4-1) hits the road for the first time this season as they take on No. 20 California (1-4) on Friday, February 27 at 1:30 p.m. at the Hellman Tennis Center and No. 6 Stanford (5-2) on Saturday, February 28 at 1:30 p.m. at the Taube Tennis Center. Both duals will not count toward the Pac-10 standings.

LAST WEEK: Arizona State men's tennis team (4-1) continued dual action this past weekend upsetting No. 2 UCLA (8-2), 5-2, on Saturday Afternoon and then falling to No. 19 USC (5-1), 6-1, Sunday afternoon at the Whiteman Tennis Center. The Sun Devils came out strong Saturday afternoon against the Bruins, winning the doubles point to take the early lead. They kept that momentum throughout the match, with victories in singles from Chris Stewart, 6-4, 6-4, Clinton Letcher,6-3, 6-1, Jonathan Kinsella, 7-6 (1), 6-4 and Daniel Davies, 6-4, 4-6, 10-8. Unable to pull off the second upset of the weekend, the Devils fell to the USC Trojans on Sunday afternoon. The Sun Devils only victory came at the No. 5 spot when Kinsella won in a third set 10-point tiebreaker , 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 10-3.

DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: As a team, Arizona State vaulted in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA, from No. 47 to No. 23 after upsets over then No. 29 Auburn on February, 15 and No. 2 UCLA on February, 20. Following the impressive 4-1 start to the dual season, two Sun Devils jumped into the national NCAA singles rankings. Junior Clinton Letcher, playing in the No. 2 spot for ASU with a 3-2 record thus far, is ranked No. 79. All of Letcher's victories have come in straight set matches, with the highlight being his most recent win over then No. 18 Chris Lam of UCLA, 6-3, 6-1. Senior Chris Stewart, ASU's No. 1 singles player, moved into the rankings at No. 98 in the nation. Stewart is 4-1 on the season, with his only loss coming in a tough three-set match to USC's Jamil Al-Agba. Stewart had a huge upset against then ranked No. 12 Tobias Clemens of UCLA, who following the most recent rankings has moved to No. 5, which helped propel the Sun Devils to the stunning victory.

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 12 of this year's opponents are ranked in the top-25. The Pac-10 comprises five of the nation's top-19 teams.

HEAD COACH Lou Belken: In his 22nd season as head coach, Lou Belken has produced 14 All-Americans and 16 All-Pac-10 selections, including NCAA singles champion and ATP professional Sargis Sargsian. Last year, Belken guided ASU to a fourth-place (3-3) finish in the extremely competitive Pacific-10 Conference, its best finish since the 1999 season, while his team also advanced to NCAA Regional action for the 13th time and for the ninth time in the past 10 years.

HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past five seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 52-19 (.732) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center, and a 38-20 (.655) mark against non-conference teams.

ARIZONA STATE QUAD: The four-school rotation has landed in Tempe this year as the Sun Devils will host the ASU quadrangle that will include Pepperdine, TCU and Pac-10 foe Washington. The competition will take place on Sunday, March 7 and Monday, March 8. Match-ups will be based on the ITA rankings the week before with the highest ranked team facing the lowest and the other two teams squaring off. The two winners will play each other on Monday and the losers will face off against each other.

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