Sun Devils sweep ASU Invitational

ASU men's tennis won its first matches of the season

ASU men’s tennis not only secured its first league win since the program was cut 10 years ago, but the team swept the entire ASU Invitational through two days, beating Loyola Marymount, Fresno State and Cal Poly on Friday and Saturday at Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe. 

The victories ended the Sun Devils' three-game losing streak and put ASU at 3-3 on the season. 

Head coach Matt Hill said the success in the invitational shows that his team is getting more comfortable on the court.  

"The energy was really good today, it was a big change," Hill said. "They're getting more comfortable in a team match setting."

ASU vs. Loyola Marymount

The Invitational started on Friday Feb. 9 with ASU securing its first victory of the season, defeating Loyola Marymount 4-2. 

The match started off rough when ASU lost the doubles point. 

But the Sun Devils fought back, and senior Michael Geerts beat Gabriel Diaz Freire, 6-2, 6-2 on court one to tie ASU with LMU at one.

Soon after on court five, freshman Andrea Bolla won his first match of the season, defeating LMU's Charles Boyce, 6-2, 6-5. The win gave ASU its first lead of the season. 

Freshman Tim Ruehl furthered ASU's lead 3-1, securing the third team point in his win against Errol Smith 7-6, 6-1.

But LMU got its second point of the game on court six as Sun Devil freshman William Kirkman fell to Nick Borchenko, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

The final point to clinch ASU’s first victory in the ASU Invitational and of the season came from Baonoromandresy Rakotomalala, who defeated Lucas Moreno, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 on court two.

ASU vs. Fresno State

The Sun Devils continued the Invitational by sweeping the Fresno State Bulldogs 4-0.

The match began with singles, where Rakotomalala secured the first point against Zdenek Derkas, 6-1, 6-2. 

The game spanned both days of the Invite. On Friday, ASU took an early 3-0 lead, but the final matches had to be suspended because of insufficient light. 

Geerts earned ASU's second team point, beating Fresno State’s Mantas Bugailiskis, 6-2, 6-1.

After a rocky tiebreaking battle in his first set, Ruehl beat the Bulldogs' Cagatay Soke on court four, 7-6, 6-1.

The rest of the singles matches were postponed until Saturday morning due to insufficient light.

Picking up on Saturday morning, freshman Benjamin Hannestad won the game-winning point against Jeremy Moser, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

ASU vs. Cal Poly

For the final game of the Invitational, ASU went head to head with the Cal Poly Mustangs and came out victorious, 4-1.

ASU took an early lead, with Ruehl and Hannestad defeating Andrew Whitehouse and Roman Shenkiryk in a doubles match 6-1.

Freshman Thomas Wright and Bolla then secured another ASU point, defeating Josh Ortlip and Axel Damiens on court two, 6-2, securing the doubles point.

Another ASU point came from sophomore Pierre Louis Dodens on court six against Karl Enander, 6-0, 6-2. 

But ultimately with a Rakotomalala win on court one and Bolla's win on court three, the Sun Devils won 4-1 against Cal Poly. 

Up next, ASU will head to San Diego to take on University of San Diego on Feb. 17. 

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