Women's tennis earns ASU-record 25th-consecutive NCAA appearance


The Arizona State women's tennis team (11-9) is headed to Athens, Ga. for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Women's Tennis Championships hosted by Georgia, May 11-12.

“We’re really excited this year because we were more of a bubble team than we have been in the past,” said head coach Sheila McInerney. “There was genuine excitement to get into to the tournament.”

The Sun Devils will face Clemson (15-9) in the first round of competition, while Georgia (21-4) will face the College of Charleston (25-5), with the winner of each match-up facing off in the second round on May 12.

“It was really exciting to see we were going to play at Georgia against a very difficult draw playing Clemson right off the bat,” said McInerney. “We’re a three seed and Clemson is a very talent two seed, so it will be a challenge. This group has never played in Athens and to play where the Sweet 16 will be held is exciting.”

ASU will compete in its 25th straight NCAA post-season event and 27th overall for head coach Sheila McInerney. McInernery currently holds the longest consecutive NCAA postseason appearance streak, of any sport, in Arizona State history with 25. McInerney has held the coaching position at ASU for 28 years.

“We have a very strong draw in ASU,” said Clemson head coach Nancy Harris. I think it has a lot of pluses for us, because we can take advantage of the opportunity with travel, and being acclimated to the region. Arizona State is a challenging opponent, and they have a fine coach. We can’t look past them at all. We’ll take it one point and match at a time.” 

The NCAA appearance for ASU this season is also noteworthy knowing the battle with injuries the Sun Devils have endured this season.

“We’ve had to compete in some matches with just four players,” said McInerney. “I think we’re certainly healthier now than we were at that time. We’ve held on pretty well even through some tough times. The kids are really resilient and it’s a team with really good chemistry. I think from a coach standing point, it was really fun to come to practice every day. We have some good characters here.”