This past weekend, Ball State women’s tennis experienced both the pros and the cons of channeling emotion with a resounding 7-0 win over University of Illinois-Chicago, followed by a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Western Kentucky.

Against UIC, you could look at the final score and see the match as a one-sided affair, but as the box score and head coach Max Norris see it, it was much closer than it looked.

“They competed well, and if you look at the scores, they were very close. It was just a matter of maybe being a little better in different moments than they were,” Norris said. “I think for us it was learning from past mistakes, from slower starts and certain matches, especially singles. So, I think that after the doubles point there was initiative to start out strong.”

Although the games were closer than the final score indicated, it was still an impressive day to not drop a single point. However, that performance didn't carry over as Ball State fell to a visiting Western Kentucky squad.

“What we saw from Western Kentucky is exactly what we were expecting,” said Norris. "In a lot of spots they show no passion or emotion when things aren’t going well, but as soon as they start winning they show more emotion and passion, and it can kind of lull you into not being into it yourself, and next thing you know you’re in a dogfight. I think that not listening to me and not coming out with a lot of attitude in singles in the first 30 minutes really cost us the match.”

This past weekend wrapped up a four-match home stand for the Cardinals. They will now begin their longest road trip of the season on Saturday. Despite playing on the road always being hyped as difficult, Norris doesn’t see road matches as much different than a match in Muncie.

“For as long as I’ve been here, we have historically played pretty much the same no matter where we are,” Norris said. "Obviously when you play on the road their players can play a little better, but for us that is not typically something we go through because of where we are. … The way we are going to look at it is that we are mad about what just happened and we are excited for another opportunity.”

Ball State currently sits at 5-3 and will spend its next four matches on the road before MAC play opens. The team will travel to Youngstown, Ohio, to take on the Youngstown State Penguins on Saturday. Start time is TBA.

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