No miracle. No major upset. Ball State men’s tennis (12-8, 2-3 MAC) traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and couldn’t upset the Mid-American Conference preseason favorite Western Michigan Broncos. The Cardinals lost the match, 0-7. Head coach Bill Richards said the Cardinals played okay.
“We played hard and had some chances here and there and couldn’t convert situations we would have had to stay in the match,” Richards said. “But [Western Michigan] are a good team, and they definitely out played us today.”
In the doubles point, redshirt Junior Colin Rigney and junior Nemanja Guzina lost to Jannik Opitz and Kennosuke Nouchi, 6-1. At the second position doubles match, juniors Marko Guzina and Conner Andersen lost a close one to Eric Olivarez and Nick Schnobel, 6-4. The doubles winning streak snapped at three matches.
The Cardinals kept falling down this slippery slope and lost all of the singles matches. Ball State did keep things interesting and moved two singles matches to third sets.
Freshman Thibault De Negri won his second singles match, 6-4 and lost the first set in a tiebreaker (6-7) before moving onto the deciding third set against Nouchi. But the third set didn’t go the Cardinals way as Nouchi won 10-1.
In another third set singles match, Nemanja had lost the first set (6-2) but won the second set (6-1) against Opitz. Opitz would go onto win the third set (6-3). From this match, Richards said he wants his team to learn one thing: getting better.
“Pretty simple,” Richards said. “Anytime you lose, you need to try and play better next time.”
The Cardinals will have two days worth of practices before their next match against IUPUI. The match starts at 3 p.m. on April 11 in Indianapolis.