#18 Sun Devils Clawed by #11 Golden Bears, 5-2

April 14, 2006

Tempe, Ariz. - Amidst mighty winds and angry skies, the No. 18 Arizona State Sun Devils could not overcome the assault of the No. 11 California Golden Bears, falling 5-2 at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe. The Sun Devils fell to 12-7 overall and 3-3 in the Pac-10 as they finish the final stretch of the regular season.

Cal won the closely contested doubles point, ekeing out a pair of 8-6 victories over the Devils. After Rebecca Rankin (Purley, England) and Wendy Pilecka (Pribram, Czech Republic) quickly defeated Claire Ilcinkas and Cristina Visico, 8-3, in the third flight, Sabrina Capannolo (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Jessica Leitch (Dallas, Texas) were unable to overcome Bojana Bobusic and Stephanie Kusano, staying within one game the whole way before succumbing 8-6. The clinching match came down to No. 43 Roxanne Clarke (Cape Town, South Africa) and Kady Pooler (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) taking on Cal's No. 19-ranked pair of Suzi Fodor and Suzi Babos. After Cal jumped out to a 7-4 lead, the Devils battled back to 7-6, but could not force a tiebreaker game, falling 8-6 and giving Cal the match point.

Cal finished the match off with wins in flights one, two, and six of singles to take the victory. No. 116 Capannolo fell in straight sets to Fodor, ranked No. 10 in the last poll, 6-4, 6-3. No. 27 Babos also outlasted No. 59 Clarke, winning in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Kady Pooler, in the third flight, played a brilliant match, coming from behind to win the first set 6-2 and opening up a big second set lead at 5-2 before finishing it off, 6-4. Freshman Laila Abdala (San Diego, Calif.) fell in the sixth flight, 6-3, 6-1, to Bobusic, clinching the match for the Golden Bears.

With the outcome decided, the two teams split the final two matches. Leitch, in flight five, defeated Claire Ilcinkas in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 and Rankin fell in the fourth flight to Visico in a third-set super tiebreaker, 7-6(4), 4-6, 10-7.

The Sun Devils will play in their regular season home finale on Saturday as they host the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal at noon MST at the Whiteman Center in Tempe. They cap off their regular season schedule next weekend in Tucson with one final dual match before the Pac-10 tournament begins at the end of the month.

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