Ball State men’s tennis's match comes down to the wire, ends in Northern Illinois' favor

Ball State tennis players Matt Helm and Tom Carney play against Eastern Illinois players Jared Woodson and Freddie Ammer in the match on Jan. 22 at Muncie's Northwest YMCA. The Cardinals won 6-1. Grace Ramey, DN File
Ball State tennis players Matt Helm and Tom Carney play against Eastern Illinois players Jared Woodson and Freddie Ammer in the match on Jan. 22 at Muncie's Northwest YMCA. The Cardinals won 6-1. Grace Ramey, DN File

Being a team that has won most of its games by one point, Ball State men’s tennis (12-6, 2-2 MAC) lost to Northern Illinois, 4-3. However, head coach Bill Richards said he thought the Cardinals played well. 

“Like so many matches we have had this year right down to the wire,” Richards said. “This one just didn’t go our way. Our guys fought hard and it was a great college tennis match.” 

One of the bright spots on the day was Ball State's doubles victory. At No. 1 doubles, redshirt junior Colin Rigney and junior Nemanja Guzina won their third straight doubles match. The duo beat senior Georg Lundkvist and sophomore Bor Schweiger Muzar, 6-4. 

The Cardinals lost the second doubles match, but freshman Chris Adams and junior Tom Carney helped the team earn the doubles point. They won a very close doubles match, 7-6. 

The Cardinals carried this momentum into singles play. But in his singles match, Guzina failed to hold onto the momentum and lost both of his sets, 6-0. 

After watching Nemanja lose, both freshman Bryce Bonin and junior Marko Guzina bounced back and won their matches. Bonin won his matches (6-4) while Guzina won against redshirt senior Eric Marbauch (6-4, 7-5). 

It all came down to Adams singles match again, which was the fourth match that the Cardinals needed someone to win in a battle full of pressure.

“We have won more of those then we have lost,” Richards said. “We had our chances and we just didn’t convert our opportunities.” 

But it wouldn’t go the Cardinals way. After losing the doubles match, Muzar recorded the win over the Cardinals as he beat Adams in a thrilling third set, outscoring him 6-3, 5-7 and 7-6. 

After the match against Northern Illinois, Ball State faces off against in-state opponent Butler on April 4. 

“Not even thinking about [Butler] right now,” Richards said. “We’ll worry about that match next week.” 

The match against the Bulldogs starts at 3 p.m. on April 4 at Cardinal Creek Tennis Center, weather permitting.

Contact Patrick Murphy with comments at prmurphy2@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @PMURPH505.

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