(Photo: Mason Kern/WCSN)
In their second match of the ASU Invitational, the Sun Devils defeated the Fresno State Bulldogs 4-0 all in singles play on the weekend of Feb. 9-10 at Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe.
After ASU clinched their victory in the earlier match in the day against the Loyola Marymount Lions, the Sun Devils were riding high as it was the first victory in the program’s new chapter under head coach Matt Hill.
The Bulldogs came into the match with a 6-2 overall record on the year under Luke Shields, who is currently in his third season with the program.
In an unusual format, the teams decided to play the six singles matches first — if the overall match was not clinched during singles play, the teams would have played the doubles directly after. That was not necessary, as ASU rattled off four straight singles victories before the Bulldogs could manage to get a point on the board.
Sophomore Makey Rakotomalala handily defeated his opponent and was the first singles match done winning 6-1, 6-2, while senior Michael Geerts and sophomore Tim Ruehl also won in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 and 7-6, 6-1 respectively. It was freshman Benjamin Hannestad who clinched the win for ASU as he pulled out his match 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
It would have been interesting to see how the doubles matches played out, as the Sun Devils find themselves 0-4 on the year in clinching the doubles point.
The win over the Bulldogs gives ASU its second win in a row. They take on the Cal Poly Mustangs in their next match of the Invitational at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10.
- Michael Geerts (ASU) def. Mantas Bugailiskis (Fresno State) – 6-2, 6-1
- Makey Rakotomalala (ASU) def. Zdenek Derkas (Fresno State) – 6-1, 6-2
- Benjamin Hannestad (ASU) def. Jeremy Moser (Fresno State) – 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
- Tim Ruehl (ASU) def. Cagatay Soke (Fresno State) – 7-6, 6-1
- Thomas Wright (ASU) vs. Cem Erturk (Fresno State) – 6-4, 1-6, 4-1 (susp.)
- William Kirkman (ASU) vs. Henrique Osorio (Fresno State) – 6-3, 4-6, 1-1 (susp.)
Order of finish: 2, 1, 4, 3^
^clinched the overall match