No. 21 Sun Devils Take on the No. 24 Ducks in Eugene This Weekend

March 8, 2006

The Sun Devils will try to build a new winning streak, as they travel to Oregon to take on the No. 24 Ducks after defeating the No. 14-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 4-3, in Tempe on Tuesday. The Devils are looking for their first conference win as they face the rival Ducks on the road in their only match of the weekend. The matchup with Oregon is the final in a streak of six matches against top 25 opponents, including numbers 1, 4, 8, and 11.

The Match-Up

The Oregon Ducks are currently 10-2 on the season and ranked No. 24 by the ITA. The Ducks lost their first road match of the season, falling to then-No. 54 San Diego State 4-3. The Ducks are headlined by No. 44 Dominika Dieskova, who normally plays in flight one of both singles and doubles. Under McInerney, the Devils have posted an 8-1 record against the Ducks, which includes a 7-0 sweep at home last season on Feb. 26, 2005.

Last Time Out

The Sun Devils extended their season-long losing streak to four matches before snapping at home on Tuesday. On Friday, the Sun Devils saw their match against No. 1 shortened by rain. The Cardinal won 4-0, despite the fact that no doubles was played and Roxanne Clarke's match was unfinished with her holding a one-set advantage. On Saturday, the Devils fell to No. 8 Cal, 6-1, in Berkeley, in a match that was much closer than the score reveals. However, the Devils squeaked out a win against No. 14 Wake Forest at home on Tuesday, 4-3, coming from behind to earn the win.

Up Next

After setting a breakneck pace with five matches in 12 days, the Sun Devils back it down a notch as they begin a stretch in which they will make only three court apperances over a 23-day span. Next up is a non-conference tilt with No. 67 Houston at the Whiteman Tennis Center on March 18.

To Be the Best...

The Sun Devils are without a doubt playing one of the toughest, if not the toughest, schedule in the country this year, combining a difficult non-conference slate with the powerhouses that form their schedule in the Pac-10 South. The Sun Devils have only one match left against teams not ranked in the ITA top 75 and have five remaining against top 25 teams, including numbers 1, 5, and 8. Currently, the Sun Devils have seven matches this year against top 10 teams and have thus far posted a 1-3 record against. Against top 25 teams this year, the Devils are 2-4. 12 of this year's 21 opponents appeared in last year's NCAA tournament, while five of them advanced to the Sweet 16.


Where they Stack up

This week's Fila ITA poll represented the first poll of the season to use the computer rankings formula developed by the ITA. Using the computer rankings formula for the poll, which uses a formula that weighs heavily on strength of schedule, the Sun Devils 'moved' four spots to the No. 21 ranking from No. 17. It marks the 11th straight poll in which the Sun Devils have been in the top 30 and their eighth straight in the top 25.

Pooler-Clarke Win POW Honors

Sun Devil juniors Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke have been named the Pac-10 Women's Tennis Players of the Week for Feb. 21 - 26, Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen announced on Tuesday. They posted a 2-0 record against the southern California schools, including a victory over the No. 24-ranked doubles team. Pooler and Clarke became the first athletes in school history to earn the Conference award for Arizona State University and are the first doubles team in the conference to earn the award. Junior Sabrina Capannolo previously received a nomination for the award for Feb. 10-12 after going 3-0 in the number one spot.

Clean Sweep

The Sun Devils recorded their fourth consecutive sweep of the season against Cal Poly on Feb. 12. It marked just the third time that the Sun Devils have strung together four sweeps. They last did it in 2001 and their longest streak was in Coach McInerney's first year, 1985, when they recorded five straight 9-0 sweeps.

Mix and Match

So far the Sun Devils have mixed up their lineup for their dual matches pretty well. The Sun Devils have used the exact same line-up in consecutive matches on only one occasion this year (against UCLA, USC). Coach McInerney has also used seven different doubles teams in matches, bringing the total number of different doubles combinations for the season to 13.


Honors for Coach Mac

Sheila McInerney was named the Phoenix Womens Sports Association's 2005 Female Coach of the Year at the university level. She will be honored on Feb. 11 at the PWSA's annual banquet which corresponds with the end of ASU's Women and Girls in Sports Week. McInerney was honored not only for her accomplishments during her 22 seasons at ASU, but also for her contribution to 'helping girls and women find their power through sports.'

It Takes Two

The Sun Devils' No. 1 doubles team of Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke have climbed to a No. 22 ranking nationally by the ITA, after entering the season at No. 27 nationally and No. 3 in the West Region. The duo of juniors have performed remarkably well so far, posting a team-best 18-4 record (.818).

At The Helm

Coach Sheila McInerney enters her 22nd season at the helm of the Sun Devil program, the seventh longest tenure of any head coach at ASU, after leading last year's team to its 18th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament. In her 21 seasons, McInerney has led her team to 20 berths in the tournament. Prior to last year's exit in the second round, McInerney had led eight straight teams to the Sweet 16. She holds a career record of 327-206 and has posted three 20-win seasons in her career. ASU has finished in the top-10 of the nation an astounding 13 times under McInerney's tutelage.

25 Years of Women's Championships

The NCAA is celebrating the 2005-2006 athletic season as the 25th anniversary of the Division I, II, and III women's tennis championships. The NCAA first began sponsoring women's championships in 1981 when field hockey, swimming, cross country, volleyball, gymnastics, basketball, golf, lacrosse, rowing, softball, and track, as well as tennis, recognized their first NCAA champions. Today, the NCAA sponsors 44 women's championships in 20 sports, providing more than 150,000 women with an opportunity to compete for national titles each year.


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