Men's Tennis Travels To Champaign, Illinois For NCAA Regional Action

May 12, 2004

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ON TAP: For the 18th time in school history, the Arizona State men's tennis team (9-12; 1-6 Pac-10) will compete in the NCAA first and second round regionals. The Sun Devils travel to Champaign, Illinois as the No. 3 seed to take on the No. 2 seed and No. 36 Louisville (19-8) in a first round match up on Saturday, May 15 at 2:00 p.m. CST at the Atkins Tennis Center.

REGIONAL INFO: Host and the regions top-seed Illinois (28-0) is the No. 1 overall seed (out of 16 seeded teams) in the NCAA Tournament will face the No. 4 seed in the region Western Michigan (19-6) in their first round dual on Saturday, May 15 at 10:00 a.m. CST at the Atkins Tennis Center. The two first round winners will square off against one another on Sunday, May 16 at noon for a berth in the Sweet 16, the first of the final four rounds, which will be held in Tulsa, Okla., May 22-25.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY: This will be Arizona State's 18th NCAA appearance and the 10th in the past 11 seasons...they hold a 9-12 overall record in postseason play...the Sun Devils last saw the Round of 16 in 1999 when they upended Hofstra and Pepperdine 4-0 in Regional action in Tempe, Ariz.

DEVILS IN THE RANKINGS: As a team, Arizona State stayed put in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA, ranking No. 34. The Sun Devils have been ranked as high as No. 20 this season. The Sun Devils No. 1 slotted duo of Chris Stewart and Jonathan Kinsella jumped into the rankings grabbing hold of the No. 40 spot after a strong showing in the Pac-10 Individual Championships in Ojai, Calif. back on April 22-25.

SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again the Devils faced 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 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.

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