MEN'S TENNIS: Ball State secures No. 2 seed in MAC Tourney with win at Northern Illinois

Pavia ends regular season undefeated in MAC play

In a match that solidified the No. 2 seed for Ball State University, the men's tennis team defeated host Northern Illinois University 5-1 in its last Mid-American Conference match of the regular season.

Due to weather conditions and limited court time, the teams played only singles matches to determine the winner.

In the matchup at No. 1 singles, Ball State's Eduardo Pavia took on Mikhail Titov. Both were undefeated coming into the day in MAC play, and Pavia continued his solid play on the season and took the match 7-6, 6-1.

"It was a trying day from a weather standpoint and our guys handled it as well as I could hope," coach Bill Richards said. "They came out and did what I expected them to do."

This was the last match of the MAC regular season. The Cardinals host the conference tournament in Muncie this year, which begins Thursday.

Richards said in the few days before the tournament, it is all about finding the right balance in the team's preparation. There are a few guys trying to get healthy, but they want to continue and push hard in their training.

Throughout the year, youth has been an intricate part of the success for Ball State. With the biggest stage only five days away, freshmen like Dalton Albertin and Alexandre Brym will again be asked to produce.

"In terms of our lineup, four of the top six in singles and doubles are all returning players," Shaun Bussert said. "But Brym and Albertin are strong competitors. They have been in the same situation as the juniors this year. There is a lot of pressure on them, but they are used to it."

Despite having no seniors on the team this year, a sense of urgency is still very much in the picture for Ball State.

"This is our last chance," said Richards. "It is one and out. We are playing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Give it all you can or die trying."