In the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament, Ball State men’s tennis (14-11, 3-5 MAC) was unable to pick up a win against the No. 1 seed Western Michigan Broncos. The Cardinals lost 4-0.
“We played hard today,” Richard said. “But Western Michigan has been the dominant team in our conference all year. They never faltered today, and we really never got into the match.”
In doubles action, the Cardinals couldn’t get off on the right foot. The Broncos picked up the win at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches. In No. 2 doubles position, juniors Conner Andersen and Marko Guzina tied their match 4-4 before Western Michigan won.
The Broncos then clinched the match by winning three singles matches. Even though five Cardinals lost their first singles sets, freshman Thibault De Negri won his first set 7-5. Richards said De Negri played well later in the season.
“De Negri got some confidence later in the season, and he’s very talented,” Richards said. “He looked very strong today.”
Then, the Broncos took three of the second sets to clinch the match. In Guzina’s No. 2 singles match, he lost the first set (1-6). Early in the second set, Guzina was up 3-1 against senior Maik Steiner, but Steiner won the second set 4-6. After losing the first set (2-6), junior Conner Andersen couldn’t force a third set as junior Lenhard Haupt won the second set 1-6. The Broncos clinched the match after junior Nemanja Guzina lost his match against sophomore Jannik Opitz (1-6, 3-6).
In the match today, the Broncos won 10-of-11 sets in the match. The Broncos will take on the winner between No. 3 seed Northern Illinois or No. 2 seed Buffalo Bulls. The Cardinals finish the season with an overall record of 14-11 and a .583 winning percentage. In comparison, the Cardinals finished with an overall record of 13-13 and a .500 winning percentage last season.