Women's Tennis Travels To Arizona For Regular Season Finale
April 13, 2004
ON TAP: The Arizona State women's tennis team (6-13; 1-6 Pac-10) will travel to Tucson to end the regular and Pac-10 seasons against Arizona (5-12; 1-6 Pac-10) on Saturday, April 17 at 1:00 p.m. The final dual will count towards the overall Pac-10 standings.
LAST TIME OUT: ASU had a difficult time in the Bay Area as they dropped both duals to No. 11 California, 6-1, and to top-ranked Stanford, 7-0. Against Cal, the Devils were swept in doubles and were only able to take one singles match as freshman Rebecca Rankin's return to the singles lineup was successful, winning 6-1, 6-3 over Jessica Shu at the No. 6 slot. Against the Cardinal, the Devils were unable to get anything rolling as they were swept in doubles and singles. But Rankin, who won the first set, did take Emilia Anderson to three sets before dropping a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 decision.
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 307-192, 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 welcomed six freshmen players to this year's team with many of them having contributed in 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).
TOUGH LUCK: The young Devils are having a difficult time this season closing out duals. Five of ASU's last eight losses have been by just one point, all to highly-ranked teams.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again this year, the Devils faced 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 12 of ASU's opponents this year are in the top-25. Additionally, the Pac-10 comprises five of the nation's top-10 teams.
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. 41 in the April 6th Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA. Junior Joslynn Burkett, after stringing together several quality wins at the No. 1 slot, enters the singles rankings at No. 88. In doubles, Cindy Sureephong and Wendy Pilecka check in at No. 55, while the freshmen doubles team of Kady Pooler and Rebecca Rankin are 58th in the country.
NCAA REGIONAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The NCAA will announce the 64-team postseason field along with host sites on Wednesday, May 5 between 1:00-2:00 p.m. The show will be broadcast live on ESPNEWS. The Sun Devils will be seeking their 17th consecutive bid into the postseason field.