Illinois State Men's Tennis Narrowly Defeated by Ball State at Home
March 23, 2013
NORMAL, Ill.-The Illinois State men's tennis team was defeated by Ball State in a close match, 4-3 at the Evergreen Racquet Club on Saturday, March 23. The team was able to edge out Ball State in doubles, creating an early, 1-0 advantage for the Redbirds; however, the team fell short in singles, only winning two matches of the three necessary to defeat Ball State.
"I was happy to see improvement in doubles. We started slow and didn't have enough energy, but we came away with the point," said head coach Cris James. "We haven't won a lot of doubles matches so that was encouraging. Beyond that, tonight was very frustrating. With so many underclassmen, we have talked all year about being tough and getting tougher, but tonight Ball State was the tougher team. Our level of experience cannot be an excuse"
In doubles, the Redbirds were slow out of the gate. At one point, all three of the Redbird doubles pairs trailed their Ball State opponents by one point or more. First to finish were Redbird pair Rolando Torrellas and Jakub Eisner, defeating Ball State's Ray Leonard and Patrick Elliot, 8-6. Next, Illinois State's Erik Brunskog and Michael Sellitto defeated Ball State's Alexandre Brym and Dalton Albertin, securing the doubles point for the Redbirds.
In singles, Illinois State's upperclassman set the example with Alexander Pelaez and Brunskog securing the only victories for the team. First to strike for the Redbirds was Pelaez, defeating Leonard at the No.1 position, 6-3,6-4. Ball State won matches at the No.3, No.4, No.5 and No.6 positions to secure the team victory but Brunskog played hard to the finish. After the match had been decided, Brunskog remained on court at the No.2 position battling Cliff Morrison of Ball State. Brunskog went on to defeat Morrison in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in spite of the match result.
"Erik (Brunskog) and Alex (Pelaez) have led the way for the team all year in singles," James said. "Brunskog played tonight because of an injury, but he has been sick and barely able to even practice."
The team is back in action at the MT Shootout in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on March 30. The competition will be played out on March 30 and March 31 with play beginning in the morning and lasting all day.
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