ASU Dominates No. 3 Texas in 6-1 Win

Jan. 21, 2006

Tempe, Ariz. - The Arizona State Sun Devils got off to a running start with an impressive dual match victory, upsetting the third-ranked Texas Longhorns at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe. The No. 26 Sun Devils opened the season at 1-0, winning the first six points of the match en route 6-1 victory.

The Sun Devils began the match by winning two out of three doubles matches to take the first point of the dual match. The team of Wendy Pilecka (Pribram, Czech Republic) and Laila Abdala (San Diego, Calif.) started it off for the Sun Devils against Kelly Baritot and Courtney Zauft of Texas.

Kady Pooler (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Roxanne Clarke (Cape Town, South Africa), ranked at No. 27 by the ITA, used a balance of finesse and power to defeat the No. 31-ranked team of Mia Marovic and Kendra Strohm of the Longhorns by a score of 9-8 (6). The Devils trailed the match early at 1-0, but won the next three with back-to-back 45-15 game scores. Texas won the next three games to take a 8-7 lead and had the Devils facing elimination in a deuce, but a impressive play by Clarke at the net tied the match at 8-8 and allowed the Devils to win it in the tiebreaker, 6-4.

The team of Sabrina Capannolo (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Rebecca Rankin (Surrey, England) faced off against Petra Dizdar and Marija Milic in the second match, winning 9-7 (3). Capannolo and Rankin jumped out to an early 7-4 lead in the match, but Texas rallied to win three straight tying it at seven games apiece. Heading to the tiebreaker, the Devils finished it off in the third point to clinch the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead in the overall match.

In the number one singles match up, junior Sabrina Capannolo (T-#100), defeated Kendra Strohm (#55), 5-7, 6-3, 6-2. After falling in a hotly contested first set, 5-7, Capannolo rallied after trailing 3-2 in the second set, winning eight consecutive games to take the set 6-3 and a 5-0 lead in the third. Junior Kady Pooler, playing in the third spot for the Sun Devils, defeated Maria Marovic, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Trailing in the third set 3-1, Pooler won the final five games of the match to earn another point for the Sun Devils. The Devils also picked up points from the fourth and fifth slots, as Rankin (T-#100) defeated Zauft (5-7, 6-1, 6-2) and Pilecka finished off Olson (6-3, 3-6, 6-2). One of the more impressive victories on the day for the Sun Devils came from freshman Laila Abdala who, in her NCAA dual match debut, soundly defeated Marija Milic in straight sets (6-2, 6-1). The Longhorns' lone point came in the number two spot, as Petra Dizdar defeated junior Roxanne Clarke in a match decided in a third-set tiebreaker, 7-5, 2-6, 10-6.

The Sun Devils continue their home stand next weekend, as they host No. 48 New Mexico on January 28 and UC Davis on January 29. Both matches begin at 10 a.m. MST.

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