ASU tennis team fell Sunday to the 10th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs at Whiteman Tennis Center and the Sun Devils are now 0-3 on the year.
After losses to Duke and Texas A&M last weekend, ASU lost once again Sunday to No. 10 TCU, 5-2.
TCU came out strong, winning the doubles point. Alastair Gray/Trevor Johnson defeated Michael Geerts/Makey Rakotomalala, and Reese Stalder/Bertus Kruger defeated Andrea Bolla/Thomas Wright to clinch the Horned Frog point.
The other match in doubles, TCU’s Alex Rybakov/Guillermo Nuñez vs. ASU’s Tim Ruehl/Benjamin Hannestad was abandoned because the other two matches had already finished. The TCU duo led 6-5 when the match was stopped.
Ruehl said losing the doubles point was tough but it didn’t affect the team’s play in singles.
“Doubles was really close today,” Ruehl said. “It was tough losing. I think we did a good job after doubles, but it was still a tough loss.”
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TCU won the first three singles matches, giving them a quick victory in Tempe. Rybakov, Johnson and Nuñez defeated Geerts, Hannestad and Bolla, respectively in two sets a piece, all by the score of 6-2, 6-4.
ASU was able to take two of the last three points from TCU as a result of victories by Ruehl and Kirkman, but Rakotomalala fell in No. 3 singles against Gray to make the final score 5-2.
Following the loss, the Sun Devils are now 0-3 on the year, but all of the team’s losses have come against opponents ranked in the Top 25 in the ITA Rankings.
“All in all we’ve done a good job,” Ruehl said. We’ve learned a lot from it, and I think it’s only a little bit until we can reach that level.”
While the match was a little colder than usual with temperatures in the 50s, Ruehl said it did not affect the team’s performance because seven of the nine players on the roster are from Europe.
“In Europe it’s much colder right now,” Ruehl said. “It’s snowing right now in Europe, so it was no problem for us.”
While the team was hoping for a better record after three matches, head coach Matt Hill said he has seen improvement as the season has progressed.
“The goal was always to play the best teams right out of the gate,” Hill said. “I thought from every match to Duke to A&M to here the guys keep looking stronger. In such a short amount of time, that’s a positive for us.”
Arizona State’s next contests will be in three weeks when they host Fresno State, Cal Poly and Loyola Marymount, who are all unranked, in the ASU Invitational at Whiteman Tennis Center.
Coach Hill said he will use the break to polish his team before the upcoming matches.
“We’re not operating on all cylinders, and it’s easy to see,” Hill said. “Just getting some of the guys back to the basics and getting them settled and keeping it simple will be good for the next three weeks.”
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.