Ball State men’s tennis player Marko Guzina goes to return a shot during the doubles set against Eastern Illinois University on Jan. 20 at the Northwest YMCA in Muncie. Guzina and his partner, Conner Andersen, won the set 6-2. Briana Hale, DN
Ball State men’s tennis keeps on winning behind Chris Adams and Conner Andersen
Ball State men’s tennis (7-1, 6-0 Home) kept its seven-match winning streak alive, beating Lipscomb (2-5, 0-4 Away) 4-3 at home. After another close win, head coach Bill Richards said he has never seen this many close matches.
“I have been doing this for a long time,” Richards said. “We haven’t had too many years where we have had so many close wins in such a short period of time. It’s a great group of guys, and I’m happy for them that they’re getting some good wins early in the year.”
The Cardinals were able to get things started by winning the doubles point. At the second position, juniors Marko Guzina and Conner Andersen won, 6-3. The duo defeated senior Daniel Cardenas and sophomore Jorge Ortegon. Freshman Chris Adams and junior Tom Carney won their third position doubles match (6-4) against freshmen Francesco Tacconi and Pedro Uribe.
Going into singles play, Richards talked to his team and gave them some advice.
“I just told them to try and get off to a good start,” Richards said. “This team was very good. We know that they’re very strong at the top of the lineup. The doubles point was probably a little bigger than in other situations.”
The team kept things interesting, winning three out of six singles matches. After coming off his doubles match victory, Andersen kept on winning. He won the first set (6-3), then fell behind in the second (7-6). That’s when the comeback music would have been played. Late in the deciding set, Andersen made a gorgeous play, which got him up in the set.
“I crashed the net and Cardenas hit it down the line,” Andersen said. “The ball was just out of my reach and I had barely hit it with my racket. I was able to hit a good shot off of it.”
Just like Andersen, Adams kept everything in check in a pressure situation. After losing the second set (6-7), Adams kept the whole match interesting. At one point in the third set, Adams was down 3-1. In another pressure situation, Adams said he didn't lose focus.
“I was just really focused and competed very hard,” Adams said. “I just wanted to win really bad for myself and my team.”
Adams was able to win the third set (7-5) and preserve the six home-match winning streak.
Ball State will face Michigan State at 10 a.m. and Detroit at 1 p.m. on Feb. 24 in East Lansing.
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