Ball State squad loses 2 games after 8-game winning streak

Team follows up school record with losses to conference teams.

Head women's tennis coach Kathy Bull will not be looking forward to too many weekends like the team has just had. Coming off a school-record, eight-game winning streak, the team lost a pair of conference matches to Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.

"Calling it a rough weekend is an understatement," Bull said. "Our players took a look at Northern Illinois' record (now 9-7) and took them for granted.

"That was extremely disheartening. That is something we pride ourselves in - coming into every match ready to play hard and not overlook anybody. I don't think I've ever had a team do something quite like this."

The Huskies got ahead of the Cardinals (9-4 overall, 1-2 MAC) early, winning the doubles point with relative ease. Bull, however, is known for having good doubles teams, and she said that did not help matters.

"In all nine matches that we've won this year, we've won the doubles point," Bull said. "This time the hole was so deep we couldn't get out of it."

Against defending Mid-American Conference champions Western Michigan the next day, even though the result was the same, Bull was much more enthusiastic about the team's effort, comparing the two matches as "night and day."

"We we would have given half the effort against Northern the previous day as we did against Western, it would have been enough," Bull said.

The ever-pessimistic Bull, however, always finds something her teams need to improve on for the next match. Quite possibly the biggest challenge for the team, Bull said, is overcoming the age differential the team faces every time it steps on the court.

"Northern is a very experienced team and Western is one of the best," Bull said. "By no means is that an excuse. We can overcome (the inexperience). Our opponents didn't beat us earlier (during the eight-game winning streak), and we will have to do it again."


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