ASU men's tennis takes down University of Arizona, 4-0

Sun Devils sweep Arizona on Saturday in their first season as a team this decade

It was all smiles at the Whiteman Tennis center today as ASU men’s tennis swept University of Arizona, 4-0, and celebrated captain Michael Geerts's senior match.

"He’s (Geerts) been a huge impact for us starting the program," coach Matt Hill said. "I figured he was going to play at a high level today, but I saw stuff out there I don’t know if  I’ve seen in college tennis before." 

Sophomore Baonoromandresy Rakotomalala credits his close friend, Geerts, as one of the reasons why he came to play for ASU.

“I’ve known him since I was like 14 years old," Rakotomalala said. "I am very sad but glad he finished strong."

The lone senior was honored post-match, surrounded by his teammates, coaching staff and parents.

The match began with competitive doubles play. First to finish on court three, freshman William Kirkman and freshman Benjamin Hannestad took down Carlos Hassey and Filip Malbasic, 6-3.

But on courts one and two, both matches went into tie-breaking games.

Geerts played with a new partner, sophomore Pierre Louis Dodens, due to freshman Tim Ruehl being injured during practice earlier in the week. 

Geerts and Dodens were first to finish on court two, beating Jonas Maier and Alejandro Reguant, 7-6.   

"Pierre did his job today. We played a pretty solid doubles," Geerts said. "We need to get used to each other a little bit, but we did our job." 

Rakotomalala and freshman Andrea Bolla matched against Igor Karpovets and Aaro Pollanen was abandoned on court one, 6-6, after the Sun Devils clinched the doubles point on the other courts. 

Geerts was first to win a single match, taking down Karpovets in two sets, 6-3, 6-3.

Rakotomalala went in a tie-breaking first set, came out on top and went on to win the second set against Malbasic, 7-6, 6-3.

Soon all eyes were on Hannestad on court two, as he was the closest to winning his match against Pollanen. The match was on its third set with Hannestad, up 5-0. While Pollanen did put up a fight, Hannestad eventually came out on top, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. 

The rest of the matches were abandoned as the team rushed the court, and the match was finished, 4-0. 

The match was the last regular season match, as the team heads to California next week for the Pac-12 championship. 

"I mean, every step of the way gets us closer to the level we’ve been thinking in our head to aspire to," Hill said. "It gives us a lot of confidence." 

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