Ball State men’s tennis player Namanja Guzina serves the ball during a doubles set against Eastern Illinois University on Jan. 20 at the Northwest YMCA of Muncie. Guzina and his partner, Thibault de Negri, won their set 6-4. Briana Hale, DN
Ball State ends first weekend of MAC play on a low note
After Saturday’s win against Binghamton, Ball State (11-5, 1-1 MAC) ended up on the losing end against Northern Illinois. The final score was 5-2 in favor of the Huskies.
Unlike against Binghamton, the Cardinals won the doubles point. Junior Nemanja Guzina and redshirt junior Collin Rigney won their match at No. 1 doubles, 6-4. Freshman Chris Adams and junior Tom Carney picked up the second doubles match victory, winning 6-3 at No. 3 doubles.
Then, the Huskies took over the match by winning five out of six singles matches. The lone singles match victory for the Cardinals came from freshman Bryce Bonin, who defeated senior Tom Hjerzonisson in three sets (5-7, 6-4, 10-2).
Overall, head coach Bill Richards said his team played “okay.”
“We didn’t play badly, but I think it was about our level,” Richards said. “We just didn’t convert in opportunity situations that we had to give ourselves a better chance to win the match. We just had a lot of situations where we were up [at] break and didn’t hold. We served for a couple of sets and the match but didn’t hold."
In pressure situations, where the Cardinals have won most matches, they couldn’t convert.
“Some of that has to do with the competition,” Richards said. “The team that we played against today was better than the team we played yesterday.”
And it showed on the scoring sheet. After a week of practices, the Cardinals will face the Toledo Rockets (3-10, 0-1 MAC) on March 24. The Rockets come into this weekend’s match after losing to Western Michigan (1-6) and facing the defending Mid-American Conference champions, Buffalo. Richards said the match against the Huskies “has no bearing on Toledo.”
“It’s just one match to another,” Richards said. “Every match is totally separate. What’s passed is passed, and now we just focus on Toledo.”
The next match will commence at 2 p.m. on March 24 at YMCA Northwest against the Rockets. The Cardinals will put their eight home-match winning streak on the line.