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Women's tennis to battle Pac-10 foes USC and UCLA

March 10, 2009

The 14th-ranked Arizona State Women's Tennis team continues conference play this week as they take on the USC Women of Troy Wednesday, March 11 and the UCLA Bruins Thursday, March 12th. Both games begin at 1:30 p.m. PT in Los Angeles.

About the Teams
The Sun Devils (8-1, 3-0 Pac-10) jumped up two spots in the national rankings this week after downing Washington 5-2 and shutting out Washington State 7-0 over the weekend. The team remains undefeated in the Pac-10 and will seek to defend this flawless record against No. 9 UCLA and No. 10 USC. They boast two ranked players: No. 79 Micaela Hein and No. 3 Kelcy McKenna. Together the duo make up ASU's No. 1 singles team and are currently ranked tenth, having lost only one match in the dual season.

No. 10 USC (9-2, 1-1 Pac-10) consistently a top performer in the Pac-10 and the nation, USC will no doubt come out strong to defend their home court after sweeping Oregon 7-0 last weekend. Among it's arsenal are five nationally ranked players: No. 15 Maria Sanchez, No. 22 Sarah Fansler, No. 29 Amanda Fink, No. 54 Gabriela Niculescu and No. 61 Alison Ramos. Doubles pair Amanda Fink and Gabriela Niculescu are ranked 12th nationally.

No. 9 UCLA (12-2, 2-0 Pac-10) will prove to be formidable opponents, currently undefeated in the Pac-10 and feeling confident after a 6-1 win over Oregon last Friday, gaining their first Pac-10 win. The Bruins claim four nationally ranked players: No. 19 Yasmin Schnack, No. 27 Andrea Remynse, No. 81 Maya Johnson and No. 112 Nina Pantic. Duo Andrea Remynse and Yasmin Schnack are ranked fifth in the nation.

Alma Mater
ASU Head Coach Sheila McInerney, a USC Alum, will return to her college turf on Wednesday. A 1980 graduate of Southern California, she captained the Trojans during her senior season. The four-time All-American also was a four-time Trojan Spirit Award winner, as voted by her teammates. The Trojans won three national championships during McInerney's collegiate career and she was the national collegiate doubles runner-up three times and a singles semifinalist in 1977.

Up Next
Women's tennis returns home on Sunday, March 15 to host Cal. This exciting conference match up begins at 11:00 a.m. MT in Tempe 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.

Double Duty
The 2009 season has seen 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. They have lost only one match, holding at 6-1 record on the season. 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 16th 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.