Arizona State has reinstated its men’s tennis program
If you are a young male prospect seeking to obtain a scholarship in the United States through VT Sports, we got good news for you. After a ten-season hiatus, Arizona State University decided to bring men’s tennis back to its campus.
When the Sun Devils last played a dual match in 2008, this guy named James Harden was still a freshman on the basketball squad. Spanish golfer Jon Rahm would start his collegiate career at ASU four years later.
The athletic department took the decision to reinstate men’s tennis on the back of several large donations from boosters. Besides, Adidas allegedly contributed with a substantial sum.
“The game of tennis is international and is reflective of Adidas’ global footprint,” Mark King, president of Adidas group in North America said. “Along with Arizona State and its new alliance with the ITA, Adidas saw the reinstatement of the ASU men’s tennis program as, not only an opportunity to impact the game of collegiate tennis, but expand opportunities within the sport and impact a diverse community of athletes.”
Arizona State’s athletic teams typically compete in the powerful PAC-12 conference along with national juggernauts such as UCLA, USC, Stanford, Cal or Oregon among others. However, the tennis team has not been admitted at least for this upcoming season. Typically, college tennis coaches plan their schedules one or two years in advance, so the fact the Sun Devils will play an alternative, conference-independent calendar is unsurprising.
Notwithstanding, new boss Matt Hill, a three-time American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, has managed to put together a top-notch schedule featuring the likes of Duke, Texas A&M, TCU or Ohio State.
Aside from searching for opponents, Hill’s most complex task ever since being hired has been to build a squad from scratch. How can you convince top recruits that joining a program that did not exist last year is a smarter decision than going elsewhere? Time will tell whether Hill has or hasn’t done a good job, but his roster looks quite promising on paper to say the least.
Baonoromandresy Rakotomalala (France) or Benjamin Hannestad (Denmark) are both former top 50 in the ITF junior world rankings and will probably obtain many wins as Sun Devils. Nevertheless, the crown jewel of ASU’s recruiting class is Belgian stud Michael Geerts, whose ATP career-high ranking is 435. The 22-year-old Antwerp native will only enjoy one season of eligibility after having already studied in Belgium. ITA Tennis has listed Geerts as the fourth best freshman/newcomer to arrive to an American college campus in 2017. Not many players can brag about having won two Futures titles prior to their start of their NCAA careers.
Throughout this upcoming 2017/18 campaign, aside from cheering on all the VT Sports athletes, we will be monitoring the revamped Arizona State Men’s Tennis.
Text by Pablo Mosquera