Ball State Women’s Tennis opened play for their fall season with the fourth annual Bethany Moore Invitational Friday and Saturday and picked up right where it left off from last year’s Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship.
The Cardinals took home two of the three doubles flights, with Jessica Braun and Annika Planisek defeating their teammates Ella Hazelbaker and Elena Malykh in the second doubles flight.
Mariya Polishchuk and Emma Peeler have a lot of experience playing doubles together and took home the first doubles title after defeating Oakland’s Liza Mladenstseva and Jillian Milaon.
“It felt like we were right back at it,” Peeler said. “Same feeling as before and it felt great. We play really well together, and it just clicks.”
After 10 Cardinals advanced in the first round of singles on Friday, they ended up claiming all five singles brackets on Saturday.
Ella Hazelbaker, Livia Lukacs, Emma Peeler, ElenaMalykh and Mariya Polishchuk all won their respective brackets to claim a clean sweep for Ball State.
With success in a tournament like this, it eventually meant Cardinal teammates had to play each other. Elena Malykh had a double dose of this theory as she played both doubles and singles championships against her teammates.
“I want to win of course,” said Malykh. “It feels a little bit like practice but at the same time it’s a tournament, so we’re both just trying to give it our best.”
Head Coach Max Norris was pleased with the showing and feels as though the team can settle in and get their first match nerves out of the way now.
“They saw that they still have a lot of the things that make them great players and a great team,” Norris said.
Ball State will travel to Middle Tennessee State University Sept. 30 for the Middle Tennessee Invite, as they continue to compete during the fall season.
Contact Caleb Zuver with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @zuves35.
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