ASU men's tennis falls to No. 2 UCLA

The Sun Devils lost at home to the No. 2 UCLA Bruins in front of a record-high crowd

The ASU men's tennis team was defeated on Friday night in Tempe by the No. 2 UCLA Bruins, 4-2.

Although the Sun Devils lost against UCLA, the team had a few things to celebrate. The match attendance was a season high, as 432 fans showed up to the Whiteman Tennis Center to cheer on their Sun Devils.

In singles, senior Michael Geerts took down No.1 ranked Martin Redlicki in a two set match, 7-5, 6-4, becoming the only singles match that resulted in a Sun Devil point.

The team knew it was going to be a very windy match, so Geerts took coach Matt Hill's pre-match advice of playing it simple.

“The coach told us to be tactical,” Geerts said. “This type of wind is very, very important to play like simple tactics. Don’t do crazy stuff.”

Hill was most impressed by Geerts' win because, although he did not start well, he fought back and came out victorious. 

“I like that he didn’t start well,” Hill said. "Usually that would rattle him a little, and I thought he managed that really well.”

The other Sun Devil point was from successful doubles matches. 

It began with a rocky start when freshman Benjamin Hannestad and freshman William Kirkman were defeated by Bryce Pereira and junior Maxime Cressy, 6-2 on court three. 

It was left up to courts one and two to secure the doubles point.  

Sophomore Baonoromandresy Rakotomalala and freshman Andrea Bolla beat No. 11 doubles pair of redshirt freshman Connor Rapp and freshman Keegan Smith, 6-4. On court one, Geerts and sophomore Tim Ruehl defeated No. 59 Redlicki and sophomore Evan Zhu, 6-4.

"The boys have looked good in doubles," Hill said. "Overall, one and two doubles, I thought they did a really nice job playing to their strengths and playing with the tactics that we are asking them to do in big moments."

The singles, besides Geerts, were not as successful.

Rakotomalala lost against No. 55 Smith, giving the UCLA Bruins their first team point, 6-2, 6-3 on court three. 

Soon to follow, Geerts secured his win, but then the match took a downhill turn for the Sun Devils as players on courts two, six and five all fell to the Bruins.

Hannestad, currently ranked No. 72, was upset by No. 81 Zhu, 6-4, 6-4 on court two.

Then, on court six, Kirkman fell to freshman Connor Hance, 6-4, 6-2. Shortly after, UCLA claimed victory on court five when Cressy defeated Bolla, securing the last point the Bruins needed to win the match. 

The Sun Devils will be back in action on Sunday, April 15 when they take on USC at 1 p.m.


Reach the reporter at skbrisen@asu.edu or follow @sophiabriseno on Twitter.

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