Ball State men’s tennis prepares to square off against IUPUI

<p>Ball State men’s tennis player Chris Adams runs to return the ball during a singles set against Eastern Illinois University on Jan. 20 at the Northwest YMCA of Muncie. <strong>Briana Hale, DN</strong></p>

Ball State men’s tennis player Chris Adams runs to return the ball during a singles set against Eastern Illinois University on Jan. 20 at the Northwest YMCA of Muncie. Briana Hale, DN

Ball State men’s tennis (12-8) has played 18 matches this season, and only two have been outside. That was not the case at this time a season ago. Junior Nemanja Guzina said he remembers being outside on Easter last year.

“I remember Easter I was getting sunburnt,” Guzina said. “We haven’t seen outside since Vegas. It’s very unfortunate. I’m a pretty big outdoor guy; I like playing outdoors, but you can’t really control the weather.”

But that’s going to change for the match against IUPUI on April 11. At match time, it's supposed to be partly cloudy and 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Head coach Bill Richards said he enjoys playing matches outside.

“I’d always rather play outdoors,” Richards said. “I would be a happy camper if I could be outdoors everyday. I love Indiana but just wish that we had a different climate.”

Freshman Thibault De Negri would agree with Richards: it’s time to play matches outside.

“I’m ready to go outside,” De Negri said. “The season right now it’s April, and it should be spring. It’s still snowing. We should be playing outside right now.”

Besides the weather, both the Jaguars and Cardinals come into this match on losing streaks. IUPUI (7-14) comes into this match losing to both Butler and UIC. Against UIC, the Jaguars lost by one point and lost to Butler by three points. Richards said it will be a challenging match.

“We always have tough, competitive matches with IUPUI,” Richards said. “This year, we have played a bunch of common opponents and have very similar scores.”

In this matchup that started in the 2006-07 season, the Cardinals are 11-0 against the Jaguars. Though the record might be one-sided, both of the teams have players that know each other.

“They have Indiana guys, and we have Indiana guys,” Richards said. “That always makes the matchups more interesting when you have guys that have grown up with each other playing with or against each other.”

The match will start at 3 p.m. on April 11 in Indianapolis at the West Indy Racquet Club.

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

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