Collective effort leads Ball State Women's Tennis to 7th straight win

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

The Cardinals kept their win streak intact Sunday afternoon, as Ball State (7-2, 0-0 MAC) defeated Western Kentucky (1-6, 0-0 Conference USA) 6-1. In nearly every match, the Cardinals took advantage of their matchups and controlled each set. 

Ball State defeated Western Kentucky in five out of six singles matches. Four of them were sweeps, coming from junior Lucia Lukacs (6-1, 6-1), sophomore Amy Kaplan (6-2, 6-2), freshman Mariya Polishchuk (6-2, 6-2) and sophomore Jessica Braun (7-5, 4-6). 

Graduate student Rebecca Harrington was forced to go to set three after splitting her first two sets (6-4, 4-6) against Hilltoppers’ senior Lisa Freiss. However, Harrington held off Friess 1-0 in set three to secure the singles match victory. 

The lone Western Kentucky singles win came from Hilltoppers’ redshirt sophomore Cora-Lynn von Dungen, who defeated sophomore Emma Peeler 2-1 (6-1, 2-6, 1-0). 

Ball State’s winning ways from singles translated into doubles play, as the Cardinals walked away victorious in two out of three doubles matches. Kaplan and Peeler teamed up to win their doubles match 6-2 while the pairing of Luckas and senior Victoria Sec took home a 7-5 victory — which happened to be the deciding match, giving the Cardinals the double point. 

"We were excited for the opportunity because we've been really trying to work on doubles to try to get pairings right," head coach Max Norris said. "They had a good doubles team, and we had to really earn that point, so we were excited about that." 

In the midst of their win streak, Norris believes the Cardinals will remain focused and keep their confidence growing as the level of competition increases. 

"We've been lucky to play some decent teams and have our players get tested in different ways," Norris said. "I think our players recognize that, and I think they are gaining confidence. I do think we feel like we are headed in the right direction."

Ball State returns to action Friday, March 5, at home against Butler. The match will begin at 6 p.m.

Contact Charleston Bowles with comments at clbowles@bsu.edu or on Twitter @cbowles01.

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