Women's Tennis Springs Huge Upset With 4-0 Shut Out Over No. 12 Texas

May 16, 2004

AUSTIN, Texas - The Arizona State women's tennis team (8-14) pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NCAA Tournament by shutting out Texas (23-6), the region's top-seed and 12th-ranked team in the country by a 4-0 score Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Women's Tennis Regional second round, held at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center on UT's campus. At No. 44 in ITA Rankings, the Sun Devils are the second-lowest ranked team to ever advance to the Sweet 16 (No. 45 Kansas State was lowest last year).

Arizona State freshman Sabrina Capannolo recorded a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory at No. 5 singles in the game-winning match Sunday, as her victory lifted the Sun Devils to the shutout win over No. 12 ranked University of Texas. The Sun Devils six wins coming into the tournament were the fewest ever by a participating team since the NCAA expanded the team tournament to a 64-team field in 1999. Additionally, ASU has now advanced out of its regional the last six years by a combined score of 58-7.

Seeded No. 13 in the 64-team NCAA national tourney, Texas ends its season with a 23-6 record. ASU, playing in the powerful Pac-10 Conference, moves to 8-14 and advances to the NCAA National Championship round of 16 in Athens, Georgia, to face the winner of Sunday's second round match between Pac-10 foes Washington and Oregon on Thursday, May 20 at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern).

ASU posted two upset wins to get to the NCAA round of 16, as it defeated No. 19 LSU (4-1) in Saturday's first round play. Texas advanced out of Saturday's first round with a 4-0 shutout of Texas-Arlington. Both teams fielded young rosters, as Texas' lineup consisted of four sophomores and two freshmen, and ASU's lineup was one senior, two juniors and three freshmen.

On Sunday, the Sun Devils won the doubles point and then picked up two quick straight set wins at No. 1 and No. 4 singles to lead 3-0 with four singles matches to go. ASU's top singles player, junior Joslynn Burkett, upset No. 24-ranked Dizdar, 6-2, 6-2, while her teammate, fellow junior Lauren Colalillo, dispatched of Strohm, 6-2, 6-3, at fourth singles.

The other four singles matches all went to three sets. The first of the four matches to finish was at fifth singles, where Capannolo won the first set (6-4) over sophomore Kelly Baritot before Baritot responded with a 6-4 win in the second set. In the decisive third set, Capannolo jumped out to a 4-2 lead, then Baritot won the next point (4-3) before Capannolo closed out the match by taking the next two points for the 6-3 third-set win.

In doubles action, ASU's No. 3 doubles team of Capannolo and Burkett had stopped Baritot and freshman Ristine Olson, 8-3. Texas' second doubles team of Dizdar and sophomore Mia Marovic then won, 8-4, over freshman Wendy Pilecka and senior Cindy Sureephong. The doubles point came down to play at No. 1 singles, where Colalillo and freshman Kady Pooler combined for an 8-6 win over Ruckert and Strohm.

POST-MATCH COACHES QUOTES

Arizona State Head Coach Sheila McInerney

Reviewing the 4-0 win over Texas...'We've played Texas many, many times, usually at least once a year and we know what to expect from UT. We've got lots of respect for what Jeff and his staff are doing here, and today, we competed very well from the start with our doubles. I think that it would have been a negative for us today if we had not won that doubles point. We won the doubles point in March against Texas but lost to them. Today, I feel the doubles point win was key, and we fed off of that. In singles, you saw the battles out there. I was impressed with the way that Kelly (Baritot) and Ristine (Olson) especially were fighting for their points. In the end, we executed very well when we had to.'

On the two upset wins posted by her ASU squad in back-to-back days...'Coming here to Texas to play in the regionals was great for my team. It was great to get out of the Pac-10 and away from the West Coast teams. The players were excited to face a new opponent in LSU. And, after that win, they were very very motivated and in a good frame of mind coming into today. In fact, I think we may be playing our best tennis right now. This is the most excited we've been all year long. We've played a really strong schedule this year, and 11 of our losses were to teams ranked in the top 13 at the time we played them. We lost by 4-3 scores to Texas, to UCLA, Southern Cal and Clemson. That plays havoc on your psyche, losing like that, and especially when you have a young group of players like we have. We lost our confidence a bit during the regular season. After yesterday's win, the players looked at each other and said, 'hey, we just beat the 19th-ranked team, so maybe we are good!'.

Texas Head Coach Jeff Moore

On the match in general...'I know that Arizona State's record did not deceive us. We had beaten them 4-3 earlier in the year, but really, with my group of players, I doubt that that win had any significance in how they approached today's match. I think ASU fought harder than we did, and wanted it more. We didn't get the effort we needed on all the courts, and, after losing the doubles point, we got down early in singles, which puts more pressure on you. Today, the doubles point was critical; sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't, but today it was. We are a resilient group, and, although we are all disappointed right now, we are headed in the right direction. For all of them, this is the first time in their UT careers that we have had a full year of success, free of injuries.'

2004 NCAA Women's Tennis Regional Championships (Second Round)at Penick-Allison Tennis Center, University of Texas, Austin, Texas

Texas - Arizona State Match Results

Arizona State 4, Texas 0

Singles Results

(Order of Finish: 1,4,5 ... did not finish: 2, 3, 6

No. 1 - Joslynn Burkett (ASU) def. Petra Dizdar (UT) 6-2, 6-2

No. 2 - Katie Ruckert (UT) vs. Wendy Pilecka (ASU) - Did Not Finish

No. 3 - Mia Marovic (UT) vs. Cindy Sureephong (ASU) - Did Not Finish

No. 4 - Lauren Colalillo (ASU) def. Kendra Strohm (UT), 6-2, 6-3

No. 5 - Sabrina Capannolo (ASU) def. Kelly Baritot (UT), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

No. 6 - Ristine Olson (UT) vs. Kady Pooler - Did Not Finish

Doubles Results

(Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1)

No. 1 -- Colalillo/Pooler (ASU) def. Ruckert/Strohm (UT), 8-6

No. 2 -- Dizdar/Marovic (UT) def. Pilecka/Sureephong (ASU), 8-4

No. 3 -- Capannolo/Burkett (ASU) def. Baritot/Olson (UT), 8-3

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