Saturday, the Ball State Women’s Tennis got a contribution from everyone. In a 7-0 sweep over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (6-3, 0-0), the Cardinals showed just how deep of a team they are.
In doubles, third-year Masha Polishchuk and fifth-year Allison Mulville won 6-2 on the second court. Second-year Ella Hazelbaker was plugged into the third doubles match, alongside fourth-year Amy Kaplan. It was Hazelbaker’s first appearance for the Cardinals (5-2, 0-0) this season. The pair won their match 6-1.
Recently, head coach Max Norris has been switching around the doubles and singles lineups to try and make sure everyone is ready to go as the conference play nears.
“We’ve got a lot of players that are working really hard and developing their games,” Norris said. “We’re going to continue to try and do that in preparation for the conference season. So many things can happen and someone needs to be ready.”
Fourth-year Emily Desai was inserted into the sixth singles slot, and was playing in just her second singles match this year. She won 7-6, 6-0. Allison Mulville, who’s just recently started to come on as a regular in the lineup, took the fifth court 7-6, 6-2. She’s a grad-transfer from Oregon, and even in a new environment, her experience has been something that the Cardinals can lean on.
“I’m just really happy to come in with what I know from where I've played and what I've done, and figure out where I can help, what I can learn from others, and how I can offer support in different ways with that experience,” Mulville said.
Fourth-year Emma Peeler has her fair share of experience in collegiate tennis as well. After dropping her last five singles matches, she got back in the win Column on Saturday.
“In my previous matches, I’ve felt like I’ve competed well, but to not get that result for the team has been really disappointing,” Peeler said. “To be able to get it done today felt really good.”
Not being result-based has been huge for Peeler during this tough stretch. It can be easy to let a couple of losses in a row affect you mentally, but she’s tried to steer clear from that.
“Coming away from those matches that I do lose, I have to take what I think I did well, and what separates me in those close moments,” Peeler said. “Today I came out there and did what I wanted to do with that.”
Masha Polishchuk and Amy Kaplan took care of their singles matches in straight sets, while fourth-year Jessica Braun had to go to a tie-breaker in the fourth singles match. She won 7-6, 4-6, 11-9, completing the sweep.
Ball State has now strung together three wins in-a-row after dropping a home match to James Madison on February 3rd. As the season continues to go on, the team’s bond continues to get stronger. It’s something that they’ll need as the matches get more important.
“Each year the team is completely new.” Peeler said. “We’re a really good unit together. This team is really close. Talking through our struggles and being open with each other has really propelled us to come out with a lot of energy from the start.”
The Cardinals have a quick turnaround, as they’ll finish out the weekend with Oakland Sunday. First serve is scheduled for 1:30 p.m at the Northwest YMCA.
Contact Caleb Zuver with comments at email@example.com or on Twitter @zuves35.