Ball State Women’s Tennis extends win streak to 5 against Oakland

Women's tennis head coach Max Norris talks to senior Sarah Swiderski in her first round singles match against Detroit Mercy. Norris enters his sixth season as head coach of Ball State. Photo by Patrick Murphy
Women's tennis head coach Max Norris talks to senior Sarah Swiderski in her first round singles match against Detroit Mercy. Norris enters his sixth season as head coach of Ball State. Photo by Patrick Murphy

Ball State Women’s Tennis (6-1, 0-0 MAC) took to the court looking to extend a four-match win streak against Oakland (3-2, 0-0 Horizon League) Sunday. Carrying their momentum forward, the Cardinals snapped the Golden Grizzlies’ three-match win streak in a 7-0 win. 

Ball State began the match on a high note, winning all three doubles matches. Freshman Amy Kaplan and junior Victoria Sec made quick work of their opponents, winning 6-1. Shortly after, senior Rebecca Herrington and freshman Jessica Braun took a 6-2 win. Then, it was the turn of freshman Emma Peeler and sophomore Livia Lukacs, taking a 6-3 win. 

“We challenged them,” head coach Max Norris said. “We told them we wanted them to come out with more energy and passion in doubles. We had two matches Saturday and Friday, and they didn’t have great energy necessarily, so we challenged them with that.”

The Cardinals were up to the challenge. After doubles, Ball State took its energy into singles. Peeler was the first to defeat her opponent, winning in straight sets, 6-5, 6-0). Soon afterward, Herrington and freshman Emily Desai followed with 6-2, 6-1 wins and 6-4, 6-4 wins, respectively. Kaplan was next to win 6-4, 6-4. 

Then, things became a little more challenging. Lukacs lost her first set 6-1 but shortly returned the favor, winning the next two sets by the same score. Braun also lost her first set 6-4 but clawed back in to win a two-set tiebreaker — claiming the sweep for Ball State.  

“I think me and my partner, Liv, had a good start in doubles,” Peeler said. “In doubles, I started a little slow. I was kind of adjusting, and then I got my stuff together, and then I played my game. My mind was getting clouded. I was thinking about how I was playing and the points before that. I just had to tell myself that the next point was a new point and that I had to focus on playing the game.” 

Ball State next takes the court Sunday, Feb. 23 against Indiana in Bloomington. The match is set for 5 p.m.

“We have to come out with energy and passion and then realize that Indiana’s not going to go away,” Norris said. "They’re not going to be like, ‘Wow, you’re excited,’ or ‘Wow, you're hitting the ball hard.’ So, we have to be ready to do that every point no matter what the score is. Now, we know what kind of level we have.”

Contact Matt Sharp with comments at mtsharp@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @sharpmatthew66.

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