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Women's tennis faces LA schools with chance to host NCAA Regional

April 08, 2011

The No. 15 Arizona State women's tennis team's success might have surprised some Pac-10 opponents, with the Sun Devils upsetting California in Tempe and defeating USC in Los Angeles, but the success comes as no surprise to the ASU team themselves.

Heading into this weekend's competition against No. 13 USC and No. 8 UCLA, the Sun Devils have a chance to host NCAA's for the first time since 2003 with victories over the Los Angeles schools. Seven years ago, the Sun Devils advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 before falling to Florida, 4-0. 

"You have to hand it to them," said head coach Sheila McInerney of her players. "I'm really proud of our kids. We had some tough losses but they're really resilient. We're a really good team. For our kids it's really nice to validate that with [great wins]."

McInerney is rounding out the 27th season of her coach career at Arizona State, the second-longest tenured coach on staff. The veteran coach is on pace to notch one of the most successful seasons in her run as head coach for the Sun Devils. Following ASU's victory at Washington, the Sun Devils compiled a five-match winning streak.

One of the main elements of Arizona State's success is the leadership of veteran upper classman on the court. The Sun Devils have three seniors and a junior in the line-up with Ashlee BrownMicaela HeinKelcy McKennaand Michelle Brycki.

With her stellar tournament play this fall, McKenna has been the go-to player for the top spot in the ASU line-up. McKenna, ranked 19th in the nation by ITA, won the Cal Nike Invitational and became the first Sun Devil to win the ASU Thunderbird Invitational this fall all while completing a rigorous student-teaching schedule.

With McKenna, Hein makes up the other half of Arizona State's top doubles team. The senior duo, ranked 18th in the most recent ITA doubles rankings, has competed as doubles partners for the majority of the past three seasons.


Making an immediate impact in her freshman season, Jacqueline Cako had an 18-match singles winning streak before dropping her first match of the dual season in late March. Cako, No. 16 according to ITA, went into three sets with Washington's No. 23 Venise Chan before snapping her run against the Husky.