Ball State tennis players Tom Carney and Matt Helm play against Eastern Illinois players Jared Woodson and Freddie Ammer in the match on Jan. 22 at Muncie's Northwest YMCA. The Cardinals (10-9, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) will face an in-state opponent of IUPUI (6-17, 0-2 Summit League) today. Grace Ramey // DN File
PREVIEW: Ball State men's tennis vs. IUPUI
Ball State men’s tennis (10-9, 2-1 MAC) faces in-state opponent IUPUI (6-17, 0-2 Summit League) at 3 p.m. today.
The Cardinals have won 10 straight matches against the Jaguars dating back to 2007, but head coach Bill Richards said playing IUPUI, a non-conference opponent, is similar to playing a Mid-American Conference team.
Ball State vs. IUPUI (2007-2016)
Richards said the Jaguars have depth that could make them a difficult opponent.
“They are a very talented and balanced team," Richard said. "I think, from one to sixth flight, you know it’s going to
Sophomore Tom Carney is 7-3 in doubles play this season, mixing with three different partners. Carney said he is going to keep the right mindset coming into the matchup against IUPUI.
“I have had ups-and-downs this season, but I’m feeling that I’m at an up right now," Carney said. "I just want to keep it up as long as possible."
Richards wants his players to stay focused these last few weeks of the season.
“This time of the year, you really can not grind them into the ground. You shorten practices to keep everyone mentally and physically fresh,” Richards said. “It is more of a mental thing right now, just staying sharp.”
The Cardinals will play three matches this week: Wednesday against IUPUI, Friday against Western Michigan and Saturday against IU Southeast.
“I think these midweek matches help keep our match tough and help prepare us for tough conference matches," Richards said.
The match against IUPUI begins at 3 p.m. at Cardinal Creek Tennis Center.