No. 17 Arizona State Bedevils No. 25 Arizona, 5-2
March 25, 2006
Tempe, Ariz. - The No. 17 Arizona State Sun Devils won their fourth straight match, as they defeated their interstate rivals, the No. 25 Arizona Wildcats, 5-2, at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe on Saturday. It was the second victory for the Sun Devils against a Pac-10 opponent, improving their overall record to 10-4 and the third straight win against a top 25 opponent. The Devils overcome a sluggish doubles start to win five of six singles matches and clinch the dual.
The Sun Devils fell in doubles competition, as the Wildcats claimed the duals point after winning the first and second flights. No. 31 Kady Pooler (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Roxanne Clarke (Cape Town, South Africa) could not find their rhythm against Stephanie Balzert and Danielle Steinberg, falling 8-3 after losing the final four games in the set. It was just the fifth loss of the season for Pooler-Clarke and their first in the last four. In the second flight, UA's Juliette Mavroleon and Kasia Jakowlew defeated Sabrina Capannolo (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Jessica Leitch (Dallas, Texas), dispatching the Devils, 8-2, to clinch the point. Rebecca Rankin (Purley, England) and Laila Abdala (San Diego, Calif.) earned the Devils' lone victory with an 8-4 come-from-behind win over Tina Razloznik and Camelia Todorova on the third court.
In singles competition, the Devils won five of six flights to clinch the dual match victory. In the fifth flight, Leitch quickly dispatched Arizona's Razloznik, looking dominant with a 6-0, 6-4 win. After sweeping through the first set, Leitch took an early lead and outlasted her opponent, breaking a 4-4 tie in the second set with wins in two straight games. In the first singles flight, No. 116 Capannolo handily defeated Balzert, 6-2, 6-2, to earn a point for the Devils. Executing from start to finish, Capannolo never trailed in either set en route to a quick victory and gave the Devils a 2-1 lead. Abdala, playing in the sixth flight, knocked off Todorova in three sets (5-7, 6-1, 6-4). After dropping a close first set, Abdala opened the second set with five straight wins and took an early lead in the third set, winning three of four games to close out the match.
In Arizona's lone singles win, No. 112 Mavroleon defeated Pooler, 7-5, 7-6 (3), in the third spot. After falling in a hard fought first set, Pooler held a 4-3 lead in the second set, but could not hold on, falling behind before forcing the tiebreaker. No. 98 Roxanne Clarke clinched the victory for the Sun Devils in second hole, defeating No. 54 Steinberg, with a hard-fought victory in a third-set tiebreaker. After falling in a sluggish first set, 3-6, Clarke cruised through the second set, 6-2, to even up the match. The two traded games in the third set, recording five ties in the set, before heading to a match tiebreaker. Clarke jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead and outlasted Steinberg down the stretch, winning the tiebreaker 7-5. Rankin rounded out the match for the Devils with a victory over Jakowlew, 6-7 (9-7), 6-4, 6-2. After falling in a long tiebreaker in the first set, Rankin showed off her superior conditioning, winning the second set and battling from an early deficit in the third set for a victory.
The Sun Devils travel to southern California next weekend for a pair of Pac-10 conference matches against No. 14 UCLA on March 31 and No. 3 USC on April 1. The Devils are looking to even the score in the season series, dropping matches against both teams in Tempe during February.