Ball State women's tennis knew what it had to do this weekend against Akron, and did it. The team secured a bid to the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
On Friday, Ball State (11-10) bounced back to get the 5-2 win over Akron. Despite suffering a defeat earlier in the weekend from the Zips, the Cardinals were able to secure a victory, as well as a spot in the MAC Tournament. Head coach Max Norris feels his team had a great deal of resilience that guided them to the win.
“Moving on into Akron, we knew we needed to have a short memory, and we knew that if we won the match, we were in the tournament,” Norris said. “It was just a matter of refocusing and recalibrating.”
Losses can be difficult to look back on in a positive way, but Norris was impressed with the doubles play against Buffalo, and he feels that level of play carried over against Akron.
“I think that you could see in spots, Rebecca [Herrington] and Audrey [Berger] to win at one doubles against Buffalo 3-1, they were playing a team that only had one loss and that gave them a ton of confidence,” Norris said. “Julia [Sbircea] really stepped in for a spell, and her and Victoria [Sec] played really hard ... then Sarah [Swiderski] and Isabelle [Dohanics] played hard, coming back from down 4-2 to force a tiebreaker … they showed a lot of signs of improvement.”
On the note of improvement, Norris prides transfer from UNC Greensboro Sarah Swiderski on the improvement he's seen from her this season.
“It’s such an impressive thing for her to stay as resilient as she has all year,” Norris said. “She really struggled early on in the season and it really wore on her, wore her down. You could see she really wanted to do well for her teammates and in a lot of instances she was getting in her own way. But, she remained so positive and persistent, and it’s really cool to see at the end of the year when a lot of people are tired or packing it in. You have someone on your team that has struggled, but she’s still so excited and really wants to do well.”
The match against Akron signaled the end of the regular season for the Cardinals. The team finished the season with an 11-10 record (3-5 MAC). Looking forward, Ball State secured a six seed in the MAC Tournament and will face Toledo.
The first match of the tournament will be against Toledo at 2 p.m. April 27 at the Cardinal Creek Tennis Center.