Ball State men’s tennis player Marko Guzina prepares to return the ball during a singles set against Eastern Illinois University on Jan. 20 at the Northwest YMCA of Muncie. Guzina won his set. Briana Hale, DN
Men’s tennis returns to competition with two-match winning streak on the line
Ball State men's tennis (2-1) will return to action this weekend after a two-week break from competition. The team will face Xavier and IU Southeast.
Coming into Xavier, Ball State has a two-match winning streak. Head coach Bill Richards said his team isn't focused on its record against Xavier.
“We just try to be ready to play, focus on ourselves and do what we have to do to try and be successful,” Richards said. “It’s less about the opponent and more about ourselves.”
In preparation of the matches this weekend, Richards said freshmen Chris Adams and Nemanja Guzina have been playing well at practices this week.
“It’s kind of hard to evaluate at this time,” Richards said. “We’re just trying to keep everybody moving in the right direction, keep improving and get a good basic play under our belt.”
On Friday, Ball State will square off against Xavier at the Eastern Hills Indoor Tennis Club. The Musketeers come into the match with two loses to Western Michigan (1-6) and to No. 2 Ohio State (0-7). Freshman Brett Winters is one of the Musketeers to watch for after he beat Western Michigan's Kennosuke Nouchi in two sets (6-3, 6-1).
Against the Musketeers, one Cardinal to watch for is Adams. In the first three matches, Adams went 2-1 at the fifth position in singles play.
Along with Bryce Bonin and Thibault De Negri, they were able to combine for five wins in singles play. As a freshmen class, Adams said they are a talented group.
“We are experienced and we have played a lot of matches too,” Adams said. “I think we will have a lot of success in this year and years to come.”
The match against Xavier starts at 1 p.m. in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Ball State will return home Saturday to face IU Southeast in a doubleheader.
IU Southeast comes into this weekend’s match with a 3-1 overall record. In their previous match, the Grenadiers beat Bellarmine (5-4) behind four singles wins. A Grenadier to watch for is sophomore Garrett Fensler, who went 2-0 in singles play in the last two matches.
One of the Cardinals to watch for against the Grenadiers is junior Nemanja Guzina, as he went 1-2 in singles play at the number one position.
“It’s always a challenge,” Guzina said. “Every school’s number one guy is always good. You always have to put up a big fight, you can’t give any mercy and you just gotta believe and win every single point.”
The first match against IU Southeast starts at 1 p.m. and the second match starts at 4 p.m. Both matches are at Northwest YMCA.
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