Women's tennis to host Washington schools
Sun Devil Women's Tennis (6-1, 1-0 Pac-10) continues conference play at home this weekend, taking on the 23rd-ranked (7-4, 0-2 Pac-10) Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars (3-9, 0-2 Pac-10). The Devils will look to improve their conference record after putting away Oregon 5-2 last weekend. Play begins on Friday at 1:30 p.m. MT when ASU hosts Washington. The Devils will be back in action on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. MT when the team faces off against Washington State. Both games will take place in Tempe at ASU's Whiteman Tennis Center.
About the Teams
Arizona State moved up three spots this week to No. 16 nationally and are currently fourth in the Pac-10. The Sun Devils 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, last weekend against Oregon's Pavlina Smatova/Ana Cecilia Olivos.
No. 23 Washington is ranked in the top 25 for the first time in three years and will seek to stay there with wins on the road this weekend as they face Arizona and Arizona State. The Huskies also boast two ranked players: No. 21 Venise Chan and No. 59 Denise Dy. Chan has already defeated two top 20 players this season: 16th-ranked Jana Juricova of Cal and No. 14 Hilary Barte of Stanford. Together Chan and Dy sit at the No. 36 spot. After falling to Cal and Stanford last weekend the Huskies will be thirsty to post their first conference win of the season. ASU is 18-6-1 all time against the Devils. Last year the Huskies upset the then 12th-ranked Sun Devil team 4-3.
The Washington State Cougars saw tough losses against Cal and Stanford last weekend, losing 7-0 to both teams. However, they have strong team leadership at every level. Freshman Elisabeth Fournier has 13 victories on the dual season, while Senior Aleksandra Cekic and Sophomore Marina Nicolas each sit comfortably with 10 wins. The Devils hold a 15-0 all-time record against the Cougars. In their last meeting the Sun Devils topped the Cougars 5-2 in Pullman with Micaela Hein taking down Aleksandra Cekic 7-5, 6-2 5.
Women's Tennis will travel to California for more exciting Pac-10 action, facing off against the No. 10 USC Women of Troy on Wednesday, March 11 and 3:30 p.m. PT in Los Angeles. On Thursday, the Devils will follow up against the No. 11 UCLA Bruins at 1:30 p.m. PT.
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 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.