Ball State Men’s Tennis got their weekend started with a 6-1 win over the Binghamton Bearcats (4-14, 0-3 MAC) Friday.
After a huge win for the Cardinals (10-6, 2-2 MAC) Sunday over Northern Illinois, head coach Bill Richards didn’t want his team to overlook a team like the Bearcats, even if their record isn’t the greatest.
“Even though their (Binghamton) record is not good, they have good players. Everybody has good players,” Richards said. “It’s the kind of match every coach worries about. But our guys handled it really well. I was not only pleased with the way we played, but what our mentality was.”
Fourth-years Vince Orlando and Eli Herran got the scoring started in doubles with a 6-3 win. Fifth-year Danilo Kovacevic and second-year Nathaniel Webster closed out the point with a 6-4 win on court one. Richards was pleased with how they executed and came out of the gates.
In singles, Nathaniel Webster took care of court one with a 6-2, 6-1 win. Richards has liked what he’s seen out of his first singles player as of late, and it all stems from his preparation earlier in the season.
“He’s had a great year. He had a great fall. He only lost two matches in all of the fall tournaments that we played, he won our fall tournament,” Richards said. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence. His forehand is great. He’s becoming more well rounded, more versatile.”
Fourth-year Eli Herran and Kovacevic won their matches in two sets, respectively. Orlando had to win a first set tiebreak, but eventually won in two sets as well 7-6 (9-7) 6-3.
Jacks Lancaster needed a third set tie-break to claim his win on court six, but got the job done in a 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 win.
The Cardinals now have a chance to get above the .500 mark in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play after an 0-2 start. The Buffalo Bulls (5-6, 1-3 MAC) will host Ball State Sunday. Coming out of the weekend and interesting themselves back in the conference race was a goal for Richards, and they are halfway there.
“The players are aware of it. Buffalo is very good,” Richards said. “On the road, indoors is always an advantage for the home team. We’re digging out of a hole, and we know we have no margin for error if we are talking about competing for a championship, (or) making a spot in the tournament.”
The match begins at 11 a.m. Sunday in Buffalo.