Ball State women's tennis drops first match of MAC play to Miami

<p>Senior Julia Sbircea hits a backhand during her doubles match against IUPUI on Feb. 19, 2017. <strong>Emma Rogers, DN File</strong></p>

Senior Julia Sbircea hits a backhand during her doubles match against IUPUI on Feb. 19, 2017. Emma Rogers, DN File

Ball State women's tennis opened up Mid-American Conference play Friday afternoon as it hosted Miami. 

With an aggressive approach and a lot of momentum, Miami proved to be too much to handle for Ball State as the Redhawks defeated the Cardinals, 6-1. 

Head coach Max Norris felt that the tone for the day was set at the very beginning, during the doubles matches. 

“The doubles point was very important, as they took off as soon as they won the point and that gave them a lot of confidence and belief,” Norris said. 

With an early deficit to overcome, the Cardinals found themselves in a number of close matches during singles play, with the momentum the Redhawks had coming in being the deciding factor of the matches.

“In singles a lot of the matches got very close, but when you know you’re up because you already have that doubles point, it made a huge difference,” Norris said. 

Although starting conference play with an 0-1 record is not ideal, Norris is looking at it as a lesson learned for his team and did see positives to take away and build on.

“I think as an overall team we showed better energy in singles when facing deficits, but I think what we can learn is that even if you’re down or tied, you need to have the same desire and fortitude to execute plans in both doubles and singles,” Norris said.

Even with the day’s result well in hand and only one match still going on, the hustle and effort was still on full display from junior Audrey Berger, who personified the attitude that this team wants to have. 

“With Audrey, you’re never really worried about her hustle as she always works vey hard, especially being in the situation where you have already lost and you’re playing an opponent who is going for it a bit more because they don’t have that pressure anymore," Norris said. "It’s setting a tone and showing what you are willing to do for your team."

This loss takes the Cardinals down to 7-6 on the season, 0-1 in MAC play. Miami improves to 5-7 with a 1-0 record in the MAC. 

Ball State returns to action on Sunday against Bowling Green in Ohio. The match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. 

Contact Chance Iles with comments at or on Twitter at @ChanceIles.


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