MEN'S TENNIS: Ball State defeats No. 47 UC Irvine in Boise State Invitational

Win is second for Cardinals against a ranked opponent this season

It took one whole match and a doubles point to figure it out, but the Ball State University men's tennis team finally put it into gear.

In the first day of the Boise State Invitational Saturday, the Cardinals beat their second ranked opponent of the year by taking down No. 47 University of California Irvine, 5-2.

"This was our last chances to prove ourselves against a ranked team so we stepped it up," Cliff Morrison said. "We haven't done anything great this spring. We have beaten everyone we are supposed to and lost to everyone we are supposed to. It was a now or never match and we proved to ourselves and the coach we are capable of beating these teams."

After losing the doubles point against UC Irvine to start the match, Ball State was in danger of letting another match slip away. That is when Ball State coach Bill Richards took a stand and got on his team.

"He terrified the hell out of us," Morrison said. "They pay a lot of money for us to come to these tournaments so we needed to come through. He made us want it really badly and lit a fire under us."

The team went on to win five out of six singles matches and take the win. UC Irvine was the top seed in the tournament.

Ball State's win overshadowed the teams' earlier loss on the day to the No. 63 University of Idaho.

"We had our chances against Idaho in the morning, but we lost two matches in three sets to lose 4-2," Richards said. "It was a tough match that could have gone either way, but we bounced back and got our biggest win of the year."

It was the first win against a ranked team by the Cardinals since they beat Illinois State University back on February 13.

With one game remaining in the Invitational tomorrow, Ball State will face Cal Polytechnic University to round out competition.


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