Ball State women’s tennis falls to Colorado, Indiana

The Cardinals lost 4-0 to both teams at the Indiana Adidas Classic

Ball State women's tennis head coach Sachin Kirtane watches his team practice Jan. 10 at Muncie YMCA. Kirtane was previously the coach at Mississippi State. Andrew Berger, DN
Ball State women's tennis head coach Sachin Kirtane watches his team practice Jan. 10 at Muncie YMCA. Kirtane was previously the coach at Mississippi State. Andrew Berger, DN

Yesterday, Ball State women’s tennis fell to both the University of Colorado and Indiana University at the Indiana Adidas Classic tournament.

“I knew it was going to be tough today,” head coach Sachin Kirtane said. “We had a long match last night and playing today without our number one in the lineup and in a doubleheader… I knew it was gonna be tough, but I thought we played a good match.”

In the Cardinals’ (1-4) first match in the tournament, they fell 4-0 to the Buffaloes. Ball State struggled in doubles play and gave up the doubles point to Colorado (8-1).

No. 2 doubles pairing freshmen Sarah Shahbaz and Isabel Tanjuatco fell 1-6. New No. 3 doubles pairing sophomores Sydney Hrehor and Jacqueline Pearsall fell 1-6 as well.

“In the first match [against] Colorado, I had a little bit of a rough start in doubles, so I kind of wanted to come out and show for myself that that doubles match doesn't define who I am as a player,” Tanjuatco said.

At No. 3 singles, Hrehor fell 3-6, 2-6. At No. 5 singles, junior Ella Hazelbaker fought throughout the match but ultimately lost 4-6, 1-6. At No. 6 singles, Pearsall was defeated 2-6, 2-6.

At No.1 singles, sophomore Elena Malykh lost the first set 2-6 and was down 2-5 when the match was suspended. At no. 4 singles, Tanjuatco fell 4-6 in the first set and was down 2-5 in the second set when the match was suspended. 

At No. 2 singles, Shahbaz went into a tiebreaker for the first set and won 7-6. She was up 3-0 in the second when matchplay was suspended.

“I had a more positive mindset throughout the match,” Shahbaz said. “I was definitely feeling a lot more confident. I knew what to do and I just had to do it.”

After the loss against Colorado, Ball State played its second match of the day against Indiana (5-7).

“I know that it can be hard, especially when you're playing clinch matches,” Tanjuatco said. “I know it can be stressful. I just wanted to put a good foot forward and be able to give some positive energy to my teammates.”

The Cardinals lost the doubles point to the Hoosiers with Malykh and Hazelbaker falling 6-1 at No. 1 doubles and with Hrehor and Pearsall falling 6-4 at No. 3 doubles.

Ball State gave up two more points to Indiana due to Shahbaz and Hrehor retiring due to minor back injuries, according to Kirtane. Shahbaz retired with a score of 1-4 and Hrehor retired with a score of 0-6, 0-3.

Hazelbaker fought hard, but ultimately gave the Hoosiers their fourth point, falling 1-6, 0-6.

Malykh fell in the first set 3-6 and was down 1-2 in the second set when matchplay was suspended. Pearsall fell 2-6 in the first set but was tied 3-3 when play was suspended. 

Tanjuatco won the first set 6-2 and was down 1-4 in the second when matchplay was stopped.

“Even though I had chances where I could have just kind of let the match go,” Tanjuatco said. “I wanted to try to stay in there for my teammates… I took the first set and [my opponent] came out and played a little differently in the second set, but I was battling right there right behind her.”

Kirtane echoed Tanjuatco’s sentiments, saying he was pleased with how his team continued to fight throughout the tournament today and the amount of improvement he has seen from the Cardinals this season.

“Overall, I think we played very, very solid,” Kirtane said. “I think as a whole, [they are] much more confident and I felt like we played better than when we played against Purdue.”

Ball State will be back in action at home against Eastern Kentucky University on Sunday, Feb. 25th. The match will start at 4 p.m. Kirtane maintained that he believes his team will continue to improve and hold their own against Eastern Kentucky.

“I have confidence in them,” he said. “I have faith in them… they're getting better.”

Contact Lauren Graham via email


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