Women's tennis off to Pac-10 Championship
The Arizona State women's tennis team will head to Ojai, Calif., for the annual Pacific-10 Conference Individual Tennis Championship. Held in conjunction with the 110th Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, the meet begins Thursday, April 22 and will conclude Sunday, April 25. The tournament determines the conference's singles and doubles champions.
What's the format?
For the women, the 32-player singles draw consists of three players from each of the nine schools that sponsor women's tennis, with five additional competitors selected by a committee of coaches, based upon the participant's record. The 16-team women's doubles draw will have one doubles team from each school and seven additional teams selected by the committee, based upon the participants' record.
ASU in the rankings
The Sun Devils 5-2 win over Arizona moved the team back into the top 25. ASU is now listed at 23rd. Individually, junior Micaela Hein entered the rankings last week. Hein, who has been the team's No. 1 singles player most of the dual season, moved up to 68th. Kelcy McKenna is right behind her at 70th.
Player of the Week
Sophomore Michelle Brycki wrapped up a terrific dual season with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Arizona's Debora Castany. The victory propelled Brycki to a flawless 14-0 dual match singles record. She is the only player to accomplish such a feat in head coach Sheila McInerney's 26 years. For her success, Brycki was named Pac-10 Player of the Week as well as ASU Athlete of the Week.
Hein is playing just fine
Junior Hein has proven to be a serious threat in No. 1 singles. The California native has earned five wins over ranked opponents this season, including sixth ranked Yasmin Schnack. Ignoring a particularly rowdy Wildcat crowd, Hein recently defeated Natasha Marks of Arizona to help propel the team to a 5-2 victory.
Kelcy McKenna has clinched three matches for the Sun Devils this season. In mid-March, she battled it out with USC's Danielle Lao to give ASU their first win over the Trojans since 2002. Against Washington, the 2009 All-American gave the Sun Devils a victory over the Huskies to improve to 2-0 in the Pac-10. Finally, in their final match of the season, McKenna led the Sun Devils to a 5-2 conquest over the Wildcats by earning a 6-2, 6-4 win over Sarah Landsman.
What sophomore slump?
Rumor is there is a condition called a sophomore slump, that causes athletes in their second year to not perform as well as their freshman season. Well, Sianna Simmons appears to be completely immune as she has had a breakout season for the Sun Devils. The sophomore from Atlanta has proven to be one of the team's most reliable dual singles player as she currently sports a 13-3 record.
The Sun Devils will await their NCAA regional announcement.