ASU men's tennis defeated by USC

The Sun Devils fell to the USC Trojans in second to last home match of the season

 The ASU men’s tennis team dropped Sunday’s match against the No. 14 USC Trojans, 1-4.

The Sun Devils dropped only their second doubles points in conference play, and were unable to climb into the lead against a tough USC team. 

“We have to be better mentally point to point,” head coach Matt Hill said. “We have to be better with our decisions point to point.” 

On court one, partners senior Michael Geerts and freshman Tim Ruehl lost to No. 10 doubles pair sophomores Brandon Holt and Riley Smith, 2-6, dropping their two-match winning streak. 

Then, moments later on court two, the Trojans secured the first team point of the match when No. 12 junior Jack Jaede and junior Laurens Verboven defeated sophomore Baonoromandresy Rakotomalala and freshman Andrea Bolla, 6-3.

On court three, freshman Benjamin Hannestad and freshman William Kirkman were in the lead 5-2 when their match was abandoned.

No. 72 Hannestad, in a two-set match against No. 84 freshman Daniel Cukierman, got the Sun Devils their only point of the day, 6-4, 6-4.

On court five, Bolla fell to Riley Smith in two sets, 5-7, 3-6, and on court three, Rakotomalala was defeated by Verboven, also in two sets, 7-5, 6-4.

Kirkman, on court six, put up a fight against USC’s redshirt sophomore Jake DeVine. With a first set that went into a tie-breaking game, he failed to capture the Sun Devil point, 7-6, 6-3.

“I didn’t win this weekend. I had a lot of opportunities in my singles in both matches, especially today – it was 5-4 in a tiebreaker in the first. I don’t know – the guy (DeVine) fights,” Kirkman said. “I think I am just going to try and keep getting better.”

The “one to watch” match was on court one as Geerts took on another high ranking singles player, No. 13 Holt. However, both would never even get the chance the finish as the match went unfinished. 

Geerts dropped his first set, 4-6, but made a comeback in the second set, 7-5, and was ready for a third when USC had won on courts five, three and six to successfully defeat the Sun Devils, 4-1.

ASU men's tennis will be playing in their first Territorial Cup in 10-years against long-time university rival UA on Saturday, April 21 at 1:00 pm at the Whiteman Tennis Center.

Reach the reporter at or follow @sophiabriseno on Twitter.

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