KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Junior Patrick Elliott posted a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win at the No. 2 singles position to help Ball State men's tennis clinch a 4-3 Mid-American Conference win over rival Western Michigan Sunday afternoon at Sorensen Courts. With the win the Cardinals improve to 10-11 overall and 1-2 in league play while the Broncos fall to 11-11 and 0-3 in MAC action.
"It was a nice comeback win on the road, a four and a half hour battle," said Ball State head men's tennis coach Bill Richards. "Both teams gave everything they had. Pat Elliott really came through with a pressure win after letting a bunch of mtch points get away in the second set. It secures a spot in the mac tournament for us so that is huge."
Western Michigan commanded a 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point over the Cardinals. The Broncos duo of Andrew Cahn and Stephen Rayne finished first off the courts after beating Elliott and Andrew Stutz, 8-5, at the No. 2 position. On court one the Ball State twosome of Ray Leonard and Austin Smith took down Nadin Indre and Ruben Greiner 8-5 to knot the doubles competition at one match apiece. The doubles point came down to the No. 3 spot where Matt Helm and Lucas Andersen fell in a close match 8-7 (7-3) to Matt Hamilton and Michael Treis.
In No. 1 singles action, Leonard finished play first by suffering a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Indre, giving Western Michigan a 2-0 edge over Ball State. After that, the Cardinals fought back scoring points on courts six, five and three which all came from true freshmen Stutz, Patrick Downs and Andersen in their respective positions. With the Cardinals up 3-2, the Broncos took the win on court four to tie the match, 3-3. The No. 2 slot would be the deciding match where Elliot took the first set 6-3 over Greiner. Greiner would then rally in the second set 7-5 before Elliott clinched the win 6-4.
The Ball State men's tennis team hosts IUPUI Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the Cardinal Creek Tennis Center before closing out its Mid-American Conference regular season Sunday, April 20 at home against Buffalo at 1 p.m.