Ball State vs. Northern Illinois (Saturday, 11 a.m. EST)
Ball State at Chicago State (Sunday, 10 a.m. EST)
Next Up: Toledo (April 13) Western Michigan (April 14)
2011 Mid-American Conference Tournament Champions
Ball State Begins Mid-American Conference Action: Ball State managed 1-1 overall record during last week's action after beating in-state rival Butler 6-1 and then went on to suffer a 6-1 loss at No. 41 Notre Dame Saturday. The Cardinals now begin Mid-American Conference action on the road at Northern Illinois (Saturday) and Chicago State (Sunday). Ball State is the 2011 defending MAC Tournament Champions and were tabbed as the league's pre-season favorite.
Richards Nears Two Milestones: Head Coach Bill Richards is one-win shy of reaching 600 overall career victories, he currently owns a career overall mark of 599. Richards also needs two wins to reach 200 overall Mid-American Conference victories. He has been the head men's tennis coach for 40 years at Ball State.
Albertin Earns 2-0 Record In Last Week's Singles Play: Dalton Albertin went undefeated (2-0) last week 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.
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 has been looking forward to the MAC matches. On the road against Northern Illinois will be a very tough way to start. They made a big statement with their 5-2 win at Western Michigan on March 24. That result speaks for itself and got everyone's attention across the conference. Every conference match is crucial. There is no margin for error so we will have to be ready and play our best in every match.