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Men's Tennis Set to Play Two-Matches in Las Vegas

Ball State vs. UNLV
Thursday, March 9, 5 p.m. (EST)
Ball State vs. Northern Illinois
Friday, March 10, 1 p.m. (EST)
Next Up:  Boise State Tournament (March 23-24)

2011 Mid-American Conference Tournament Champions

Ball State vs. UNLV/Northern Arizona:  The Cardinals 11-match win streak ended last week after Ball State suffered a 7-0 loss to Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich.  With the loss Ball State falls to 11-3 overall on the season.  The Cardinals are now on the road from March 3-24 with matches in Las Vegas and at the Boise State Spring Tournament.   Ball State will face UNLV first on Thursday at 5 p.m. (EST) and then close out spring break play on Friday at 1 p.m. (EST) against Northern Arizona.  Head Coach Bill Richards is four-wins shy of reaching 600 overall career victories, he currently owns a career overall mark of 596.

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).

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:  Everyone is looking forward to break week in Las Vegas and playing outdoors again. We will have 3 good days of practice to make the adjustment from indoors to out before taking on UNLV and Northern Arizona. UNLV is always tough, espesially at home. Northern Arizona is a very talented team so we will have to play  our best to be successful.

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