Ball State vs. Buffalo (Saturday, 1 p.m. EST)
Next Up: 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament at Toledo April 26-28
2011 Mid-American Conference Tournament Champions
Ball State Continues Mid-American Conference Action: Ball State went 1-1 in Mid-American Conference action last week after posting a 4-3 win over Toledo and then fell 6-1 on the road at Western Michigan. With the win over the Rockets, head men's tennis coach Bill Richards has now reached 200 career MAC victories in his 40 years at the helm of the Cardinals with 601 overall wins. The Cardinals will host Buffalo in their last MAC regular season match of the year, Saturday, at Cardinal Creek Tennis Center. The event is part of a double-header with the women's tennis team that begins at 1 p.m. If inclement weather occurs the matches will be moved indoors at the Northwest YMCA Tennis Center, with the men's match to be played first followed by the women's tennis match.
Albertin Earns MAC Weekly Honors: Dalton Albertin went undefeated (2-0) for the week of March 26-31 for the Cardinals after posting a 7-6 (4), 7-5 victory at No. 2 singles over Butler's Tommy Marx helping Ball State to a 6-1 victory. With the win Albertin helped head coach Bill Richards to his 599th career win just one-shy of reaching the 600 milestone. Albertin also captured a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory at No. 1 singles over No. 41 Notre Dame's Casey Watt Saturday afternoon in Notre Dame, Ind. The MAC weekly honor was the second of his career at Ball State.
Leonard Two-Time MAC Player of the Week Recipient: Ball State freshman Ray Leonard (Bloomington, Ind./North) was named the Mid-American Conference Tennis Player of the Week for the second time this season. The conference officials announced today. Leonard helped the Cardinals improve to 6-2 overall on the season after going 3-0 at No. 1 doubles, 2-0 at No. 2 singles and 1-0 and No. 3 singles. Leonard now owns a 6-2 record in singles and doubles play for the season. He won in straight sets over Detroit Mercy, Illinois State and Anderson University. Leonard's victories allowed the Cardinals to earn wins over Detroit Mercy (6-1), Illinois State (4-3) and Anderson (7-0).
Leonard Goes Undefeated in Singles and Doubles Last Week: Leonard went 2-0 at No. 2 singles in Mid-American Conference action last week after defeating Leo Sarria of Toledo, 7-5, 6-3 and Pablo Olivarez of Western Michigan, 6-2, 6-3. Leonard also earned a 2-0 mark at No. 1 doubles, winning 8-3 versus Toledo and 9-7 over the Broncos. Leonard helped the Cardinals earn a 4-3 victory over Toledo last Thursday, allowing Ball State head coach Bill Richards to reach the 200 career MAC win milestone. With Leonards wins over the weekend he leads the team with a 17-8 dual action record and a 3-1 league mark.
Men's Tennis Tabbed the Mid-American Conference Pre-Season Favorite: The Cardinals are the 2011 defending MAC Tournament Champions. Ball State welcomes back ten letterwinners from last year's squad including junior Dalton Albertin who was named First Team All-MAC for the first time in his career and was also named to the All-MAC Tournament team in 2010. Senior Cliff Morrison garnered Second Team All-MAC honors for the third straight season. Morrison also received The Most Outstanding Player of the MAC Tournament Award along with being voted to the All-MAC Tournament team for the 2011 season joining teammate junior Austin Sansone.
A Look Back at 2010-11: Ball State has now won 19 regular season championships and 17 tournament titles in program history, including 16-undefeated MAC seasons. Ball State has participated in the MAC for the last 37 years. The Cardinals have played in seven NCAA tournaments, five of those were as MAC Tournament champions. The legacy began in 1984 after the Cardinals posted a 19-5 overall record and an 8-0 stint in league play. Since the MAC tournament format started in 1997, the Cardinals have won the league tournament six times (1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2011).
Quote From Head Coach Bill Richards: It was a tough loss at Western Michigan on Saturday. Once again we lost matches where we had opportunities and didn't capitalize, much like the Northern Match. Now we have a very good Buffalo team coming in on Saturday so we have to look ahead and prepare for them and try to finish strong and take some momentum into the tourney.