No. 17 Sun Devils Wrap Up Homestand with Start of Conference Play
TEMPE, Ariz. – After an electric showing last weekend against a pair of top-32 squads, in which they won both to remain unbeaten at home this spring, the Sun Devils will wrap up their homestand this weekend with the start of conference play.
No. 33 Washington (Friday, 1:30 p.m. MST) and Washington State (Saturday, 12 p.m. MST) will meet the Sun Devils at the Whiteman Tennis Center, the final contests of what was a five-match homestand for Sheila McInerney's group.
The Sun Devils were rewarded for their efforts last weekend with their first top-20 ranking this season, clocking in the latest ITA polls with a No. 17 listing.
A win on Friday afternoon against the Huskies would push the Sun Devils to 8-2 to begin the season, matching the team's best start through 10 matches since 2015.
The Sun Devils certainly haven't shied away from top opponents this spring. Their last six opponents are a combined 40-18 this season, and ASU is 4-2 in that span.
PREVIEWING NO. 33 WASHINGTON (9-4)
- Road Warriors: The Huskies are a tough out away from home, as they're 3-1 in true road matches this season.
- After a February 26 sweep over Boise State, the Huskies have now swept two in a row and five this spring.
- Washington is currently ranked by the ITA as the country's No. 33 team, a dip from their previous No. 19 listing. Despite the fall in the rankings, the ITA is high on the Huskies being a well-rounded team this spring.
- Senior Vanessa Wong and sophomore Sarah-Maude Fortin, Washington's top singles players, respectively, have combined to go 16-6 this spring in singles.
- Eighth-year head coach Robin Stephenson has steered the Husky program to national recognition since her hiring in 2014. The 2019 Pac-12 Coach of the Year, she's helped the Huskies regain top-10 status, reach two NCAA Tournaments and tie a program-best 21 wins in 2019.
PREVIEWING WASHINGTON STATE (4-6)
- After starting the spring on a four-game win streak, the Cougars are currently on a six-game slide after last weekend's losses against Iowa State and Columbia
- Washington State was ranked No. 65 by the ITA, before a pair of losses last weekend dropped them out of the top-75 in the latest polls.
- The Cougars are led by first-year head coach Raquel Atawo, formerly an assistant at Auburn. Atawo previously spent 15 years playing on the WTA Tour, where she was ranked as high as No. 10 in the world in doubles and No. 162 in singles. Along with 18 career doubles tournament titles, she reached the semifinals at the Australian Open (2014) and Wimbledon (2015 & 2016).
- On Court 1 in singles play this year, senior Savanna Ly-Nguyen is 3-0. Ly-Nguyen and freshman Elyse Tse are 6-0 on Court 3 in doubles this season.
- Fifth year, Michaela Bayerlova was ranked No. 47 in singles on the ITA preseason rankings.
TOP 20 SQUAD
The Sun Devils have cracked the ITA's Top-25 rankings for the first time this spring, clocking in at No. 17. The Sun Devils, who jumped 15 spots from last week's ranking, are one of three Pac-12 teams inside the top-20 (No. 10 Cal & No. 16 UCLA).
Senior Domenika Turkovic and freshman Patricija Spaka have teamed up to form a terrific one-two punch on Court 1 in doubles play in the early going of 2022. The pair has continued to earn national recognition, ranked in the latest ITA polls as the nation's No. 49 pair.
GOIN' BACK TO CALI
For much of the off-season, the coaching staff toyed with different lineups and wondered who would slot where in the starting six. A huge boost for McInerney this spring has been senior Cali Jankowski, the only returning player from the 2019 season. The Carlsbad native is 6-1 in singles and 3-1 alongside Sedona Gallagher on Court 3 in doubles play.
Over the past 38 years, Sun Devil head coach Sheila McInerney has cemented herself as one of the winningest coaches in the vast history of NCAA Women's Tennis. With 547 career wins, McInerney ranks fifth all-time amongst active women's coaches.
Keep up with the nationally-ranked Sun Devils all season long via the team's Twitter account, @sundevilwtennis.