Men's tennis facing a pair of challenges
Thursday, March 10, 2016
By Todd Lamberth
Men's tennis facing a pair of challenges

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - After dropping a tough 4-3 match to Southern Illinois last week, the Lipscomb men’s tennis team looks to bounce back this weekend with matches against Murray State and Ball State.

After snow in January forced their cancellation of the original meeting the Bisons take on Murray State on Friday. Due to anticipated rain, the match will take place at MTSU’s Adams Tennis Complex in Murfreesboro at 6 p.m.

Murray State (2-9) enters the matchup coming off of a 6-1 defeat to No. 69 South Carolina on Thursday in Nashville.

The Bisons (3-6) have a quick turnaround after Friday’s match as they host Ball State at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Houston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center. If rain continues into Saturday, the match will be moved to Richland Country Club where play will begin at 4 p.m.

Ball State (5-5) comes into the weekend winning three of their last four matches. Lipscomb will serve as the second of the three matches the Cardinals will play in Middle Tennessee over the weekend, starting in Cookeville against Tennessee Tech.

With the Bisons nearing the end of their non-conference schedule, head coach Mario Hernandez wants his guys to continue to be challenged heading into conference play.

“Murray State and Ball State are good mid-major schools,” Hernandez said. “They’re good matches for us in terms of preparation for the conference. That’s really what all of these matches are; getting us battle tested for conference play so that we’ve seen pretty much everything going into it.”

Lipscomb has worked to improve doubles play as the season has progressed and Hernandez expects to continue to see improvement this weekend.

“I think the intensity and aggression that needs to come with doubles play has gotten better,” Hernandez said. “I feel like we’re now always going to be competitive in doubles points and that’s what you want. Now it’s a matter of executing so that it goes in your favor.”

Heading into the weekend, Hernandez wants to continue to see the week-to-week improvement he’s seen from his team every week this season.

“I want to see our guys, number one, fight as hard as possible, and keep sticking to what we’ve been working on,” Hernandez said. “I really feel like this semester we’ve gotten better each week with our games and what we’re working on and we just want to make sure we keep improving one step at a time each week. If we’re playing a little bit better than we were last week, that’s a positive.”