Sun Devils Welcome Colorado State, New Mexico State for Saturday Doubleheader
TEMPE, Ariz. – Days after a season-opening sweep versus in-state Northern Arizona, the Sun Devil Women's Tennis team is back at the Whiteman Tennis Center on Saturday for a doubleheader against Colorado State (9:30 a.m.) and New Mexico State (3 p.m.).
The Sun Devils (1-0) have a chance to start the season 3-0 for the third time in their last four seasons.
LAST TIME OUT
The Sun Devils looked at ease against the Lumberjacks in the opener on January 17, cruising to a 7-0 sweep. It was an afternoon of debuts: the first match in a Sun Devil uniform for Sedona Gallagher and Patricija Spaka plus the first time in Giulia Morlet's career that she's slotted into the No. 1 role in singles play.
It was smooth sailing for 38th-year head coach Sheila McInerney and her Sun Devils.
Here's a look at the two teams the Sun Devils will meet up with on Saturday.
PREVIEWING THE RAMS (0-0)
- The Rams will open their 2022 season in Tempe on Friday for a neutral match against New Mexico State in Phoenix.
- A year removed from a 4-6 season, the Rams are led by first-year head coach Mai-ly Tran, previously the head coach at Drake University.
- Along with the hiring of a new head coach, the Rams have undergone a roster transformation since last season. They return just three (Sarah Weekley, Tracy Guo and Anastasiia Kotsyuba) from last season's team and added five to this year's roster.
- Among the newcomers this spring are transfers Radka Buzkova and Matea Mihaljevic, who the ITA lists at the No. 32 doubles pair in the nation. It's the highest ranking for a doubles team in program history.
- The Rams are coming off one of their busiest fall seasons in program history, as they played at the ITA Fall National Championships for the first time ever. Mihaljevic: "Having the opportunity to go out there and see all those big schools and good teams and just compete, all of us together, I think it's kind of a dream come true."
- Buzkova and Mihaljevic won the doubles championship at the ITA Mountain Regional in October.
HISTORY VS. THE RAMS
The Sun Devils and Rams are hardly familiar with one another. The last time they met? March 24, 1977, a match in which the Sun Devils won 9-0. Forty-five years later, the Rams have a chance to avenge that loss on Saturday at Whiteman.
PREVIEWING THE AGGIES (0-0)
- The Aggies were 6-14 a season ago and were charged with a 7-0 loss in their meeting with the Sun Devils on March 24.
- Of the nine players on the roster, six returned from a season ago, as freshman Liza Zhu, sophomore transfer Melissa Cartis (Missouri) and redshirt junior Georgia Townsend (Pacific) round out the newcomers
- The rookie Zhu was named the WAC Singles Player of the Month in October. She began her collegiate career in the fall season with a 3-0 record in September and was 5-2 in singles play through the first two tournaments of the preseason.
- They also returned their top three singles players from a season ago in Harsha Challa, Chloe Gavino and Miranda Bishard, respectively.
- The Aggies are led by fifth-year head coach Emily Wong. Under Wong, the program has won the WAC Tournament (2019) and reached the conference championship match twice.
RECENT HISTORY VS. THE AGGIES
March 24, 2021: Arizona State 7, New Mexico State 0
March 27, 2019: Arizona State 4, New Mexico State 0
Following the conclusion of the Sun Devils' quick three-game homestand, they'll hit the road for the first time in 2022 for the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Orlando, Florida. They'll match up against No. 22 Auburn on January 28 and either No. 50 UCSB or No. 11 UCF the following day.