Senior Rosalinda Calderon hits a forehand during her doubles match against IUPUI on Feb. 19. Ball State starts Mid-American Conference play with an away trip to Western Michigan, playing at noon on Friday. Emma Rogers // DN File
Ball State women's tennis prepares for MAC play after strong non-conference season
Ball State women's tennis (12-2) beat Oakland 6-1 Sunday.
Sophomore Audrey Berger, senior Rosa Calderon and senior Toni Ormond each won their matches easily. However, in the other three matches, as head coach Max Norris put it, there was “a little more drama.”
Court 2 hosted a match between Ball State’s sophomore Isabelle Dohanics and Oakland’s Daria Artamonova. Building on her earlier doubles success with Ormond, Dohanics got out of the blocks well as she raced into a 3-0 lead in the first set. But she was then pegged back to 4-4 and lost the set 6-4.
Next Cardinal home match:
March 31 vs. Bowling Green at 1 p.m.
After a series of rallies, in the deciding point of the match-breaker, Dohanics was forced to hit the ball so far back that her racket slid against the sheeted wall behind the courts.
“What I told her was, don’t think about it as like you lost and you’ve dropped down a peg now in terms of how you’re progressing,” Norris said. “I didn’t even think that she played bad in the tiebreaker. I think the other player made some good plays.”
Although Dohanics couldn’t successfully complete her fightback, junior Julia Sbircea and sophomore Peyton Gollhofer did. Losing 6-4 in the first set, Sbircea took the second set 6-3 before winning the match-breaker 10-3. Even with the win, she felt as though it could have gone better.
“At the beginning, I started off slow. I just felt like my backhand just wasn’t happening," Sbircea said. "I just wasn’t breathing and I was so tense. But then, after a while, I got my head straight and just figured out what to do.”
Gollhofer had a different view of her comeback. Even though she lost the first set 6-3, Gollhofer confidently stated that the win was never in doubt.
“She was playing well but we both have the same game style. So, I knew I probably could outlast her in playing the same game-style,” Gollhofer said.
Norris said his team knows who they are and what they are capable of.
“I think overall our team is very well aware of who we are, what we’re good at, what we can get better at," Norris said. "I think they’re very well aware of who brings what to the table. We still have a lot of things we need to improve upon."
The Cardinals head into the Mid-American Conference play with a non-conference record of 12-2. First up they travel away to Western Michigan for Friday’s match at noon. The first home game of the MAC will be on March 31 against Bowling Green.