Men's Tennis to Face-Off Against In-State Rival, Arizona

March 23, 2006

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Match Point:

The Sun Devils are coming off of a three-match losing streak, which saw them fall to #30 California, #15 Clemson and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.  The Sun Devils were unable to get anything rolling against Cal, though rallied back after losing the doubles point against Clemson with two singles wins from Christopher Biro who defeated #84 Jarmaine Jenkins 7-6(3), 6-7(8), 1-0(8) while his fellow Sun Devil, T.J. Bellama came from behind to take down Brett Twente in a tough 6-7(4), 7-5, 1-0(8) match.  ASU also was unable to complete the rally against the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors who grabbed the doubles point early from the Sun Devils, though ASU came back strong in singles falling only one point short of taking the match.  



On Tap:

Next up, the Devils will face off against its in-state rival and Pac-10 foe, the University of Arizona Wildcats.  The `Cats currently stand at 8-5 on the season as they come off of a 6-1 win over Portland last weekend, snapping a two-match losing streak.  The Wildcat seniors #58 Roger Matalonga and Jeff Groslimond are 7-5 and 8-4 in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots this year.



Series History:

The `Cats currently lead the series history between the two rivals 56-35.


Home Sweet Home:

Currently the Sun Devils are 6-3 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 54 in the ITA Fila Rankings, falling from their last ranking of 40. 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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