First Edition of THE RANKIN FILE, Web Blog from Women's Tennis Student-Athlete Rebecca Rankin

Feb. 14, 2006 presents the first edition of THE RANKIN FILE, a new web-blogthat follows the progress of the Sun Devil women's tennis team through the wordsof junior Rebecca Rankin. This week, Rebecca catches us up with the Sun Devilsdominating performance at the Whiteman Center and what lies ahead on the road toPalo Alto:

'Pooler and Clarke, with
 matching Jamaican wristbands (despite neither having any Jamaican ties whatsoever)'

This past weekend saw the ASU women's tennis team compete in three dual matches to continue their home stand at the Whiteman Tennis Center. The teams challenging to break our 3-0 start to the season were Montana State, University of Denver and Cal Poly respectively.  

Montana State, no doubt enjoying the hot weather and climate change from the snow and cold were the first team to visit. However, our doubles teams stepped up with Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke comfortably beating the number one pair from the Bobcats, 8-1, whilst myself and partner Sabrina Capannolo won without loss of a game at the number 3 spot (8-0). Singles went smoothly as well, as we swept to a 7-0 match victory after comfortably taking all of the singles matches. 

Saturday proved to be a more difficult challenge as we took on a highly touted Denver that entered the match ranked number 43 in the nation. In a repeat performance of the previous day, Pooler and Clarke, with matching Jamaican wristbands (despite neither having any Jamaican ties whatsoever), and amidst the typical chants of `Yeah baby,' cruised to victory.  

In addition, Sabrina and I continued our goal of winning without loss of a game with a second 8-0 victory. Jessica Leitch and Wendy Pilecka, the last doubles on court, were tested a little more in winning 8-5 against a solid Denver team. We knew that singles was likely to be a lot tougher as the feistiness of the Denver team prevailed despite ASU winning all six of the first sets.


At the number two, three and four spots, the Pioneers rallied back to win second sets. However, we stepped it up a notch and fought hard to win the last set in each of the three matches.


Saturday also marked a historic moment in Sun Devil tennis as Wendy Pilecka was actually the first person to finish her match and come off court. She had finally broken the trend of almost always being the last person to finish her match, despite previous attempts and jokes to buy her lunch and dinner if she was one of the first to finish. She didn't need any of that as she won in seemingly easy fashion by a score of 6-2, 6-1.


Sunday proved to be a little more of a challenge than expected, as we were admittedly goofing around a bit too much in the warm-up from some in-jokes about `Martina's dogs' and `Right on' comments the previous evening. A few harsh, but fair, words from our coach regarding our `lackadaisical' warm up helped shoot us back into reality but unfortunately did not help us escape a pretty poor and unfocused start to our doubles.


'Saturday also marked a
historic moment in Sun Devil
tennis as Wendy Pilecka was actually the first person to
finish her match and
 come off court. '

Sabrina and I took out their number two team 8-4, as the new duo of Leitch andLaila Abdala found the opposition too solid and succumbed to a loss. The doublespoint was now in real jeopardy as an uncharacteristically quiet Pooler andClarke were down in the deciding match. However, they managed to regain focusand win by the narrowest of margins in the tiebreaker.


With a somewhat sub-par performance, we were all motivated to go out and provethat our singles would be much better. Capannolo, Leitch, Pilecka and I allproved just that with comfortable straight sets victories, whilst Clarke'sopponent felt the strain after just one game and retired with sore knees. Poolerwas left on court last, echoing the previous day, but this time managed to winin two close sets.

'The warrior paint ASU color
 tradition we began this year
 looks set to stay'

 Theweekend finished successfully, without us losing a match, however certainly notwithout vast room for improvement. With the Pac-10 schedule looming, we've gotour work cut out for us to prepare well and this time I don't think we'll bejoking too much again in the warm up! However we're sometimes hard pressed tofind the line between being serious and being relaxed and joking around. Let'sface it, we're got a fair few characters on the team and having fun on courtcertainly isn't something we tend to avoid!


Even so, a 6-0 record at the weekend is something to be proud of so far and thewarrior paint ASU color tradition we began this year looks set to stay, as dothe Jamaican sweatbands, jokes about the variety of accents on our team and thevarious distortions of the word `lackadaisical'.


Ofcourse, it would be rude not to mention the nice turn out to our matches frommembers of Desert Vista and Casa Grande tennis club respectively, the engineerswho are fond of Sabrina and last but not least, our newly recruited fan, JanPaige!


Thanks for reading,


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