Ball State women’s tennis rounded off the weekend with another victory against Wright State University, but the team was not as happy as they usually are after a 5-2 win.
The day got off to a rough start as the Cardinals lost all three doubles matches to the Raiders. On court one, Toni Ormond and Carmen Blanco had no answer to the powerful pairing of Tori Turner and Taylor Culbertson, losing 6-2. The Wright State pair looked more energetic compared to the Cardinal counterparts as they communicated well and got into good positions to finish off points efficiently.
Rosa Calderon and Peyton Calderon lost by the same score-line on court three and despite a late push from Audrey Berger and Julia Sbircea on court two, they too fell to their opponents 6-3.
In both huddles after the doubles and the whole event, the team looked annoyed at themselves for the doubles performance despite the 5-2 victory. Head coach Max Norris said he was “very, very, very disappointed with the doubles.”
“Wright State obviously played really well but at the same time we didn’t have any energy," he said. "There was no leadership on any of the doubles teams. That was hard to watch but I do think it was good to have that happen and everyone see it and experience it and hopefully we can move on and learn from it.”
The singles went a lot better for the Cardinals as they came back to get the team win. On courts four and six, Ormond and Becca Herrington won their matches in straight sets respectively. Norris understood that Ormond had a slow start but played well to win in the end, blanking her opponent in the second set. Herrington also played really well to win, he said. She won 6-1, 6-2 against a tough opponent who is a strong returner of the ball.
On court two, Blanco beat Linsey Verstrepen 6-1, 6-4 with some great shots and rallies which moved the Raider all around the court. Her winning play summed it up perfectly as she laid down some hard hits to eventually swipe the ball at the right-hand side of the net, across her opponent to take the match for Ball State.
Berger won her singles 6-2, 7-5 on court 5. After being up 3-0 in the second set, it looked like she would be the first to finish her match. But her opponent Haily Morgan fought back to push Berger all the way.
Isabelle Dohanics had a similar second set experience. She won a tight first set 7-5, but went down 3-0 in the second. Norris said he was impressed with her performance in the end as she put her foot down and won the match 7-5, 6-4.
“To be up a set but be down 1-4 and the match had already been decided and you look over at the other team and they’re joking and laughing," Norris said. "She could’ve easily just been like ‘OK, we’ll just go into a match-breaker’ but instead she fought her way back and won in straight sets. So, to me that was very cool.”
Dohanics’ match was the last one to finish, which could have put more pressure on her.
“For me, I like it a lot actually," she said. "I really feed off the other team cheering against me, not so much my team cheering for me. So that helps me stay focused.”
Ball State travels to Ohio next weekend to face the Cincinnati Bearcats Feb. 12.