Sun Devils Outlast No. 14 Wake Forest, 4-3

March 7, 2006

Tempe, Ariz. - The No. 21 Arizona State Sun Devils returned to their winning ways, upsetting the No. 14 Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 4-3, at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe. The marathon match, which lasted over four hours, was decided in the third set of the final singles match and snapped a four-match losing streak for the Sun Devils, who improved to 7-4 on the year. The Devils remained perfect in non-conference play, improving to 7-0.

The Sun Devils' number one doubles team of Kady Pooler (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Roxanne Clarke (Cape Town, South Africa) opened the match for the Devils with a victory, their sixth victory in their last seven matches. The No. 22-ranked pair of Pooler and Clarke defeated Alex Hirsch and Ann Jerman of Wake Forest, 8-4. Playing in the number three spot, Rebecca Rankin (Purley, England) and Laila Abdala (San Diego, Calif.) dropped an 8-5 decision to Sierra Poske and Christine Simpson to even up the doubles competition. However, Wake Forest clinched the first point of the match with a tiebreaker victory in the number two spot, as Ashlee Davis and Christian Tara narrowly defeated Sabrina Capannolo (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Jessica Leitch (Dallas, Texas), 9-8, with a 7-5 victory in the tiebreaker.

However, the minor setback did not weigh on the Devils mind as they won four of six singles matches to clinch the victory. Roxanne Clarke, who has won in seven of her last nine, defeated No. 49 Ashlee Davis (6-4, 7-5) in the number two spot. No. 50 Rebecca Rankin won for the second straight match, defeating Wake's Christian Tara in the fourth flight, 6-4, 6-2. In the fifth flight, Leitch ended her singles slide with a dominant victory over Poske (6-0, 7-5). Wake Forest's victories came in the number one and three spots, as No. 37 Hirsch defeated No. 65 Capannolo (6-3, 6-3) and Jerman defeated No. 93 Pooler (6-3, 6-2).

In the deciding match, Laila Abdala defeated Christine Simpson in the sixth flight to clinch the win for the Devils (6-3, 5-7, 6-2). Abdala, who was winless in her last three outings, won the first set handily 6-3 and appeared to be cruising to an easy victory when Simpson rallied back from match point to win the second set 7-5. In the third and final set, Abdala took an early 2-1 lead and won four of the final five games to win the match and return the Sun Devils to the win column.

The Sun Devils continue Pac-10 conference play this weekend, as they travel to Eugene, Ore., to take on the No. 24-ranked Oregon Ducks on March 11.