Women's Tennis Journey Continues To The Round Of 16
May 18, 2004
ON TAP: For the eighth consecutive year, the Arizona State women's tennis team (8-14) will compete in the NCAA Round of 16 Team Championships held on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. The Sun Devils, one of five Pac-10 teams to advance to the Sweet 16, will face Pac-10 foe and fourth-seeded Washington (20-5) on Thursday, May 20 at 6:00 a.m. (Pacific). Live scoring for the dual will be available at www.georgiadogs.com.
REGIONAL WRAP.: Arizona State 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. 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). Freshman Sabrina Capannolo recorded a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory at No. 5 singles as her victory lifted ASU to the regional title. 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. ASU posted two upset wins to get to the NCAA round of 16, as it defeated No. 19 LSU (4-1) in first round play.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY: This is Arizona State's 19th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and holds a 27-19 overall record ... before the current NCAA system went into place in 1982, ASU won the national championship in 1971, 1972 and 1974 ... ASU has advanced out of its regional the last six years by a combined score of 58-7 ... this is ASU's eighth straight Round of 16 appearance and 16 of the last 17 years ... ASU's best finish in the current format: Eight quarterfinals (1986, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001).
HEAD COACH Sheila McInerney: Sheila McInerney is in her 20th season after leading this year's young team to its eighth consecutive (16 of the past 17 seasons) NCAA Round of 16 appearance. McInerney has guided Arizona State to eight quarterfinal appearances in her tenure, and has made the NCAA tournament in 19 of her 20 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 309-193, posted three 20-win seasons (1986, '90, '01) and has 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).
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Once again, ASU faced a strong non-conference slate (maybe the strongest ever) along with the always powerful Pac-10 Conference. Sixteen of ASU's 20 opponents earned NCAA bids this year (six are in the Round of 16), while 10 of ASU's opponents are currently in the top-25, including seven of the top-12 teams. Additionally, the Pac-10 comprises four 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. 44 in the May 3rd ITA Rankings. Junior Joslynn Burkett continues in the singles rankings at No. 95, while the doubles team of Lauren Colalillo and Kady Pooler check in at No. 57.