With a doubleheader going on inside Worthen Arena and Men's Volleyball out in California, two other Ball State sports teams kicked off their seasons on the road. Ball State Gymnastics took the floor in the nation's capital while Ball State Men's Tennis stayed warm taking on Indiana to kick off the winter season.
Ball State Gymnastics wins two of four rotations in Washington, D.C.
Ball State Gymnastics kicked off the 2019 season with a third place finish at the Lindsey Ferris Invitational in Washington, D.C.
The Cardinals took on host team George Washington, Cornell and North Carolina on Sunday. The team claimed three collective victories in the bars and vault sections. However, this was not enough to propel the Cardinals into a top finish.
The squad finished the day with a team total of 193.200 after performances in the floor, vault, bar and beam events. Graduate student Jordyn Penny won the individual bars competition with a score of 9.850. Junior Maddie MacDonald led the Cardinals in the vault rotation by scoring 9.775. The beam round was led up by senior Kaitlyn Menzione with a 9.750 score. Freshman Sandra Elsadek topped the floor routine for the Cardinals with a score of 9.825.
The long off-season means that the Cardinals had to go many months without collegiate competition.
“You can only simulate competition in practice so much,” said head coach Joanna Saleem. “It was important for us to get out onto the competition floor.”
North Carolina came out with the victory on the day by finishing with a score of 194.175 as a team. George Washington followed behind by scoring 193.525. Behind Ball State sat Cornell with a score of 190.750.
“...We showed that we can hang with any team out there,” said Saleem. “We are in a great place to start building from here.”
The Cardinals will be back in action in North Carolina on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.
Hoosiers shut out Ball State Men’s Tennis in indoor season opener
Ball State Men’s Tennis began the 2019 season with a match against the Indiana Hoosiers. The Cardinals had three chances to win this road matchup, but couldn’t pull it off, dropping the duel 7-0.
The first chance came in one of the three doubles matches. Seniors Nemanja Guzina and Marko Guzina took on IU’s Brandon Lam and Patrick Fletchall. The pair were serving and up by one set (5-4). In this match, the Cardinals were leading, 40-15. During this time, the Hoosiers had won the second and final doubles match, earning the doubles point.
“We definitely pushed the Hoosiers in doubles and could have won at No. 1,” head coach Bill Richards said. “Who knows what would happen if we did win.”
The final two chances came in the six singles matches. After playing in one of the doubles matches with senior Conner Andersen, sophomore Chris Adams faced the No. 110 ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) ranked player in Zac Brodney. Brodney had won the first set, 6-1. Then, after leading the match at 5-3, Adams had won the second set, 6-3. Meanwhile on Court four, sophomore Thibault De Negri won the second set of his match against Carson Haskins, 6-3. Even though the Hoosiers had already won the overall match, these two singles matches were still played.
In the end, Adams lost his third set (7-5) while De Negri lost (10-7). Even though the Cardinals couldn’t win a match, Richards said the level of play was pretty good.
“Certainly, we would feel a lot better if we found a way to cash in on some of the opportunities we had to give ourselves a better chance to win,” Richards said. “Indiana was a very good and competitive team.”
The Cardinals' home opener is against Eastern Illinois at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 at Muncie YMCA Tennis Center.