May 11, 2010
The Arizona State women's tennis team heads to Los Angeles this weekend to compete at their 23rd consecutive NCAA Regional. The 23rd ranked Sun Devils will take on No. 38 St. Mary's in the first round on Friday at 10 a.m. Should they advance, ASU will compete against the winner of No. 7 UCLA and Army in the second round. The winner of the second round will move on to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The Sun Devils finished the dual season with a 13-5 overall record.
Sun Devils in the NCAA Tournament
Head coach Sheila McInerney has led her squads to 18 NCAA Sweet Sixteen and eight quarterfinals appearances in her 26 years at the helm of ASU's women's tennis program. Her teams have also been to 23 straight NCAA regionals and 25 overall. The Sun Devils last reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2004.
After earning All-American honors in doubles last season, Micaela Hein will attempt to earn honors in singles this season. The junior earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Singles Championship, which will take place May 26-31 in Athens, Ga. Hein is listed 50th in the latest ITA Singles Rankings.
Hein and fellow junior Kelcy McKenna have been named to the All-Pac-10 team. Hein earned Second-Team honors while McKenna was selected to as an Honorable Mention. This is Hein's first all-conference recommendation while this is McKenna's third straight season on the All-Pac-10.
Michelle Brycki completely ignored the sophomore slump and finished the dual season with a perfect 14-0 record. The Australian became Coach Mac's first player to earn a flawless singles record in dual matches. For her success, she was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after her last dual match win against Arizona.
McKenna has clinched three key matches for the Sun Devils this year. In mid-March, she came out on top of a match against 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 last 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?
Brycki was not the only sophomore to avoid the rumored condition that causes athletes in their second year to under-perform. Sianna Simmons also appears to be immune to this syndrome, as she has had a breakout season. The Georgia girl has proven to be one of the team's most reliable dual singles players as she currently sports a 13-3 record in dual match singles.
Should the Sun Devils advance past the second round, they will head to Athens, Ga., to compete at the NCAA Championship beginning May 20.