Women's tennis to battle first ranked opponents
No. 21 Women's Tennis will take on No. 20 Florida State, No. 8 Georgia Tech and No. 25 TCU in Atlanta, Ga. as part of ITA's Kick-off weekend. Action begins on Saturday as the Devils duel with the Seminoles at 9:00 a.m. ET and then continues on Sunday when they will face the Yellow Jackets at 9:00 a.m. ET and the Horned Frogs at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The Devils ride into Atlanta confident after a pristine opening weekend that saw them sweep NAU and UC Davis 7-0. Two Sun Devil standouts, Nadia Abdala and Ali Van Horne, shut out their UC Davis opponents 6-0, 6-0 on Sunday.
About the Teams
Like the Devils, Florida State comes to Atlanta after winning their home opener last weekend. The Seminoles blasted Jacksonville 4-0 and won against the team for the third straight year.
TCU will be unpredictable after a weekend of ups and downs saw them fall to No. 41 Virginia on Saturday, then rally to upset No. 22 William and Mary the following day. In their arsenal the Yellow Jackets bring with them two ranked doubles teams: No. 16 Anna Sydorska and Macall Harkins, and No. 28 Nina Munch-Soegaard and Maria Babanova. Munch-Soegaard is currently ranked 12th in the nation in singles.
Georgia Tech boasts two top 25 players: 2008 National Champion No. 3 Amanda McDowell and No. 23 Irina Falconi as well as the No. 5 doubles team in the nation with McDowell and Falconi.
Although she will be away from Tempe, freshman Sianna Simmons will compete on home turf this weekend. Simmons, a native of Atlanta and 2008 graduate of the Keystone National High School will represent the Maroon and Gold in her home state and seek to help the Devils maintain their flawless record.
The Devils will return to Tempe on Friday, February 6 to face Cal State Northridge at 1:30 p.m. MT at ASU's Whiteman Tennis Center.
Legends of the Fall
The Fall 2008 season saw ASU dominating competition at the Cal Nike Invitational, where sophomore Kelcy McKenna took home the ITA Singles Gold crown as well as the ITA Doubles Gold title with teammate Micaela Hein. ASU also collected its third ITA All-American in two years with McKenna.
The 2009 season will see exciting doubles action from Arizona State, with the return of partners Micaela Hein and Kelcy McKenna, who finished with an impressive 17-4 overall record in 2008. Senior Laila Abdala will also pair up for a final season with her sister, junior Nadia Abdala. The sisters will be in quest of success after posting 10 wins last season.
To Be the Best...
The Sun Devils have traditionally played one of the most rigorous schedules in the nation and this season will be no different. The team will be tested with a mixture of strong non-conference play and strenuous Pac-10 matchups, including back-to-back matchups with No. 10 USC and No. 3 UCLA.
Where They Stack Up
Last year, the Sun Devils finished the season ranked at No. 23 posting a 15-8 overall record, a fourth place conference finish and making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Arizona State is currently ranked 21st with four returning letter winners and powerhouse Kelcy McKenna, currently No. 3 in the nation.
At The Helm
Coach Sheila McInerney enters her 25th season at the helm of the Sun Devil program. In 2008, she led the team to a university record 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance following a winning 15-8 season. Those wins saw ASU upset NCAA Champion UCLA, as well as conquer Stanford for the first time in program history.