Women's Tennis Hosts No. 11 USC And No. 12 UCLA
March 9, 2004
ON TAP: The Arizona State women's tennis team (3-5; 0-1 Pac-10) continues their eight-match home schedule against No. 11 USC (7-3; 2-0 Pac-10) on Friday, March 12 at 1:30 p.m. and No. 12 UCLA (7-5; 1-1 Pac-10) on Saturday, March 13 at 12:00 p.m. Both duals will count towards the Pac-10 Conference standings.
LAST TIME OUT: ASU dropped both duals to the Bay Area schools at home, falling 7-0 to Stanford and 5-2 to California. Against Stanford, the Devils just could not get anything going against the nation's No. 1 team. After dropping the doubles point, singles produced the same results for the Devils even as Lauren Colalillo, Sabrina Capannolo, and Wendy Pilecka all played well with Colalillo going to three sets and Capannolo losing in a third-set tiebreaker. Versus Cal, the match started off tough for the Devils with only the freshmen duo of Capannolo and Kady Pooler taking an 8-5 win in doubles over Cal's Catherine Lynch and Monica Wiesner. The Devils fought back well in singles with Capannolo and Colalillo both coming off with wins. Though both Joslynn Burkett and Piecka pushed their Cal opponents, both nationally ranked, to three sets apiece, they were unable to pull out wins.
HEAD COACH Sheila McInerney: Sheila McInerney enters her 20th season after leading last year's team to its seventh consecutive (15 of the past 16 seasons) NCAA Round of 16 appearance and a No. 17 national ranking. McInerney also guided Arizona State to eight quarterfinal appearances in her tenure, and has made the NCAA tournament in 18 of her 19 seasons. The 2003 season saw McInerney accomplish another milestone in her illustrious career, earning her 300th career win. She also coached another player to All-American acclaim and helped place four players on the Pac-10 All-Academic teams, tying a school record for most student-athletes selected. McInerney, who owns a career record of 304-184, posted three 20-win seasons (1986, '90, '01) to her credit and guided the Sun Devils to 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The Sun Devils have reached the NCAA quarterfinals eight times under McInerney and have finished in the top-10 five of the past seven seasons and an astounding 13 times in her 19 seasons.
YOUNG/NEW FACES: McInerney welcomes six freshmen players to this year's team. Each player will look to contribute immediately to both the singles and doubles lineups: Ebru Burduroglu (Istanbul, Turkey), Sabrina Capannolo (Las Vegas, Nev.), Wendy Pilecka (Pribram Czech Rep.), Kady Pooler (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), Rebecca Rankin (Purley, England), Vana Tomas (Split Croatia).
HOME SWEET HOME: Over the past six seasons, Arizona State holds an impressive 65-22 (.747) overall dual record at the Whiteman Tennis Center, while posting a 45-16 (.738) mark the past four seasons. The Devils non-conference record is even more impressive over the past six seasons with a 57-14 (.803) mark.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again the Devils will face a strong non-conference slate (maybe the strongest ever) along with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference. Fifteen of ASU's 21 opponents earned NCAA bids last year, while 15 of ASU's opponents this year are in the top-25. The Pac-10 comprises five of the nation's top-13 teams and six of the nine Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top-18.
DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: For the first time since the 1996 season, the Sun Devils are not ranked in the top-25 as they come in at No. 31 in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA. The freshmen doubles team of Kady Pooler and Rebecca Rankin are 28th in the country.
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