Men's Tennis to Host Pac-10 Foes #12 Stanford and #30 California

March 8, 2006

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Match Point:

The Sun Devils are coming off of a four-match losing streak, which saw them fall to #8 UCLA, #23 USC, #22 Georgia Tech and the Northwestern Wildcats.  The Devils fell again in doubles as they lost both points to the Yellow Jackets and the Wildcats over the weekend, and were unable to rally in singles as the Yellow Jackets took three more points in singles from the Devils with ASU gaining only one point off of 6-4, 6-3 singles win from Jonathan Kinsella over GT's Zachary Rath. Against Northwestern, the Devils only rallied back to take two points from the `Cats in singles as Nick Hegarty grabbed his team-leading seventh singles win of the season in the number three spot with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 win over NW's Juan Gomez. Newcomer Ryan Waits also had a singles win for the Devils over NW as he took down Alexey Evstratenkov 6-3, 6-3 in the six-spot.  The Devils now fall to 5-5 on the season while Georgia Tech improved to 6-0 and Northwestern to 7-7.



On Tap:

Next up, the Devils will face off against two tough Pac-10 foes, the twelfth-ranked Stanford Cardinal and the #30 Cal Bears.  Stanford is coming off of a weekend at the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships where two Cardinal doubles duos, Blake Muller and James Pade, and James Wan and Jon Wong both fell in the semifinal rounds. Stanford is currently 6-1 on the season with their only loss thus far to #7 Baylor in a 5-1 decision. The Cardinals are returning eight players from last season, two of which red shirted, along with several talented freshmen added to the line-up. They currently have three ranked singles players as well as the doubles duo of  KC Corkery  and James Pade  ranked 11 nationally. The #30 Cal Bears are 5-3 on the season and also coming off of a weekend at the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships. The 2006 Bears squad are returning a seasoned roster of ten as well as four freshmen additions from their 12-10 2004-2005 season. They currently have senior Conor Niland ranked 47 nationally in singles.  Both matches will be played at ASU's WhitemanTennisCenter with ASU taking on Stanford on Friday at 1:30 p.m. and Cal Saturday at 1:00 p.m.



Series History:

The Devils have only logged one win in their 51 matches against the Stanford Cardinal and their history against Cal has the Bears leading, 38-15.


Home Sweet Home:

Currently the Sun Devils are 5-2 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 third active, including the Women's Tennis Coach, Sheila McInerney and Gymnastics' Coach, John Spini) in ArizonaState athletic history to achieve the 20 season milestone.


The Votes Are In:

The Devils are currently ranked 49 in the ITA Fila Rankings, falling slightly from their last ranking of 44. 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, four 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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