No. 15 Men's Tennis Heads to the Bay Area to Open Pac-10 Play
March 26, 2008
The No. 15 Arizona State men's tennis team opens Pac-10 conference play this week at the Bay Area schools. Currently 12-0, the Sun Devils compete against No. 34 Stanford on Friday, March 28 and No. 42 California on Saturday. The Cardinal are 6-6 in duals this season while the Bears are 8-6.
Sun Devils in the Rankings
The Sun Devils are currently ranked 15th nationally. The team has moved up 33 spots from their preseason ranking of No. 48. This is the Sun Devils highest ranking since the 1991 season. Andres Arango is currently ranked No. 62 and the doubles team of T.J. Bellama and Matt Brooklyn is ranked No. 53 nationally.
The Sun Devils are off to their best start since the 1979 season when they went 14-0. The Sun Devils have tabbed 12 wins already this season, one shy of their total wins of last season. This is also Coach Belken's best start of his coaching career.
Although the Sun Devils trail in the all-time series with both California and Stanford, ASU has found recent success against both teams. The Sun Devils split their matches with the Bay Area teams last season and have already defeated both teams this season. The Sun Devils won both matches 4-3.
The Sun Devils return home for the first time in three weeks to host Oregon and Washington in two conference matches. The Sun Devils will finish out the rest of the season at home with five home matches.
The Sun Devils increased their winning streak to 12 with a nonconference 4-3 win over in-state rival Arizona. Wes Miller clinched the team's victory with a win in the No. 5 slot.
T.J. Takes Honor
For the second consecutive week and third time this season, a Sun Devil netter has claimed the title Pac-10 Player of the Week. T.J. Bellama earned the honor for the week of March 10-16. After dropping his first set to Clemson's Derek DiFazio last Wednesday, he battled back through two tough sets to pick up the victory in the number six position 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5. Playing in the number five position, Bellama handily defeated Georgia Tech's Miguel Muguruza in straight sets, winning 6-1, 6-1.
Juan Carlos Rebaza was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of March 3-9. Rebaza had a successful weekend and has proven to be a big reason why the Sun Devils are currently undefeated. The senior swept through both of his singles matches this past weekend. Against Pierre Mouillon of California, Rebaza battled back from dropping the second set to take the match thanks to a spirited performance in the tiebreaker, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4). Rebaza upset No. 85 Richard Wire of Stanford the following day in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4. This is the first weekly honor for Rebaza.
Matt Brooklyn was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 11-17. Brooklyn, playing out of the No. 1 position in singles, remained undefeated (5-0) over the weekend to lead the Sun Devils to victories on the road over Marquette and Northwestern and maintain their undefeated record in dual match play (5-0). On Saturday, Brooklyn battled back from a set down to take his match against Trent Hagan of Marquette 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10-7), leading the Sun Devils to a 4-3 victory. In Sunday's 6-1 team victory over Northwestern, Brooklyn defeated Northwestern's top player, Marc Dwyer, 6-2, 7-5.