WOMEN'S TENNIS: Cardinals must become road warriors

Ball State visits Northern Illinois to start stretch of road matches

The sights and sounds of passing cars and bumpy highways should become all too familiar for the Ball State University women's tennis team in the coming weeks.

Including today's match at Northern Illinois University, five of the last six matches of the season for Ball State will be played on the road. And for Ball State, which has gone an ice cold 0-4 on the road this season, the prospect of trying to get back to a winning record doesn't look bright.

Junior Hayley Hall recognizes the challenge that lies in front of the team.

"It's definitely harder to play on the road than it is at home," she said. "We've had some awesome fan support, and it's always easier to play for a bunch of fans. And after riding in a bus all day, it's harder to come out and play fresh."

But Hall also said that the team has gained enough experience on the road this season to overcome any adversity.

"Through conference, we stayed at hotels the night before, so traveling shouldn't be too much of issue for us this time hopefully."

With a current overall record of 6-9 and a four-match losing streak, the Cardinals will be hungry for a win coming into today's match. Their opponent, Northern Illinois, comes into the match with a 7-6 record and fresh off a win last week against Eastern Michigan University.

Last season, Northern Illinois captured a close 4-3 victory over Ball State. It's a loss that freshman Paolo Rodriguez said the team is anxious to atone for.

"We think this match is really important because of last year's loss to them. We think we can beat them this year, and we're really focused for it."