#18 Sun Devils Close Out Home Season with #11 Cal and #1 Stanford
April 11, 2006
The No. 18 Arizona State Sun Devils women?s tennis team returns home after a four-match road trip to close out its home schedule with the No. 18 Cal Golden Bears on Friday and the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal on Saturday. The Sun Devils (12-6, 3-2) are coming off two wins in Washington last week and are looking to remain in the running for a Regional hosting bid as the regular season winds to a close.
The Sun Devils lost their first match of the year against the then-No. 8 Cal, 6-1, in Berkeley. The Bears are currently 13-6 and 4-1 in conference play after falling to No. 4 USC on Sunday, 5-1. The Bears finish their season with Arizona (4/15), Santa Clara (4/19) and Stanford (4/22).
The Stanford Cardinal continue their reign atop the ITA poll, having won their 75th and 76th consecutive matches last weekend with dominating wins over UCLA and USC last weekend. The Caridnal, now 20-0 (7-0 Pac-10), defeated the Devils, 4-0, in a rain-shortened match in March in Palo Alto.
Last Time Out
The Sun Devils picked up two crucial Conference wins on the road, defeating both Washington State and Washington by 7-0 margins. Junior Rebecca Rankin received a Pac-10 Player of the Week nomination, winning two singles and two doubles matches for a perfect 4-0 weekend.
The Sun Devils face No. 30 Arizona in the final match of the season, down south in Tucson. The match on Apr. 22 is a Pac-10 Conference match.
With her two singles wins and two doubles wins this weekend, junior Rebecca Rankin won her 21st singles match and her 20th doubles match to become the second Sun Devil on this year?s squad to record 20 victories in both categories, joining junior Roxanne Clarke.
Where they Stack up
In this week?s Fila ITA poll, ASU fell to No. 18 despite two Conference wins last week. it marks the 16th straight poll in which the Sun Devils have been in the top 30 and their 13th straight in the top 25.
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 two matches remaining against top 25 teams, including the national number one. The Sun Devils have played five matches against top 10 teams (1-4) and have one more remaining. Against top 25 teams this season, the Devils are owners of a 4-6 record.
Clarke Honored By Pac-10 Again
Junior Roxanne Clarke was again honored by the Pac-10, this time for singles, as the Conference?s Player of the Week for March 20 - 26. No. 98 Clarke defeated Arizona?s No. 54 Danielle Steinberg, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). This was Clarke?s first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor on the singles court and second weekly honor all-time for Arizona State. Clarke and her doubles teammate, Kady Pooler, were named Conference Players of the Week as a doubles team on Feb. 27.
It Takes Two
The Sun Devils? No. 1 doubles team of Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke is having a season for the record books so far. Through 18 matches, they have posted a 22-7 record and became just the fourth doubles team in school history to reach the 20-win plateau, putting them in some very elite company. They currently rank tied for number two all-time for single-season winning percentage with a .759 mark. Here?s a look at the top 10 doubles teams in school history:
* Earned All-American Honors in Doubles
The Sun Devils have two ranked singles players currently and one ranked doubles team. Roxanne Clarke is moving on up as she reached No. 59, up from No. 86, after impressive wins against Arizona and UCLA. No. 116 Sabrina Capannolo stayed in the same position from the last poll. Roxanne Clarke and Kady Pooler are currently ranked No. 43 in doubles.
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.?
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 332-208 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.