#57 Men's Tennis Hosts #45 Texas A&M CC and #28 Auburn

Feb. 17, 2006

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Match Point:

The Sun Devils have started their season with four straight wins, which they last did in the 2003-2004 season. The Devils swept Northern Arizona and New MexicoState and have only allowed five points to be taken from them all season with a 5-2 win over Pacific and a 4-3 victory over the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara.



On Tap:

Next up, the Devils will remain in Tempe for the last matches of the home stand and will face their first ranked opponents of the season as they take on the #45 Islanders of Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Saturday February 18. The Islanders who are 1-4, taking losses from other ranked teams such as Texas, Clemson and Baylor. Following their match with the Islanders, the  #57 Sun Devils will take on the #28 Auburn Tigers on Sunday. The Tigers, like ASU, are also a perfect 4-0 on the season as their match against #52 Oklahoma was rained out. The Devils will host both matches at Tempe's WhitemanTennisCenter with a start time on Saturday of noon and a start time on Sunday of 11 a.m.



Series History:

For the Devils and the Islanders, it will be their first meeting, while the Devils lead the series-history against Auburn 7-3.



Home Sweet Home:

Currently the Sun Devils are 4-0 on their home courts at ASU's Whiteman Tennis Center, and for the past six years have posted a 65-35 (.650) overall dual record at home and a 48-27 (.640) record at home against non-conference teams.




Time-tested Leadership:

In his 24th season as head coach, Lou Belken has produced 14 All-Americans and 17 All-Pac-10 selections, including NCAA singles champion and ATP professional Sargis Sargsian. Belken is also only the 12th coach (currently only the second active) in ArizonaState athletic history to achieve the 20 season milestone.


The Votes Are In:

The Devils are currently ranked 57 in the ITA Fila Rankings, they finished last season ranked 50 by the ITA.


Tough Schedule/Tougher Conference:

The Devils as always find themselves competing against some of the best teams in the world, in one of the hardest tennis conferences in the nation in the Pac-10. Currently, five of the eight Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top 25.


Depth Chart:

The Devils have a great roster this year as they have five returning players with an older cast of one senior, Ryan McBride, and three juniors: Christopher Biro, Jonathan Kinsella and Nick Hegarty. The roster also includes two sophomores, one returning from last year, Mike Beatty and transfer from Miami, Ryan Waits. Three freshmen also round out the roster, T.J. Bellama, Will Grist and Wes Miller, who have already jumped in to impact the Devils immediately.


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