KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Butler men's tennis team competed in the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships over the weekend. The team of Austin and Alex Woldmoe led the Bulldogs in doubles play while Pulok Bhattacharya led the way in singles.
Team Woldmoe advanced to the round of 16 after an opening round win over David Clifford and Giovanni Samaha of Morehead State (8-5). The team also defeated Kyle MacDonald and Josh Malyon of Dayton 8-3 before losing to David Fox and Victor Cornea of MTSU in the round of 16 (8-2). The team of Fox and Cornea ended the regional as runner-up after taking a tough loss to David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury of Memphis.
The team of O'Neill and Weldon took a tough opening round loss to Aaron Jumonville and Ettore Zito on Friday taking an 8-7 setback.
Singles play was highlighted by Bhattacharya even though the talented junior had a tough draw in the opening round. Bhattacharya took a tough, three-set loss (6-4, 6-7, 6-2) to eventual semi-finalist Ricky Medinilla of Purdue. He came back to record three wins over the weekend beating the No. 9 seed Jeff Offerdahl from Vanderbilt (6-1, 7-6), John Tougher (6-2, 7-6, 7-6 (10-2)), and he also knocked off the No. 17 seed from Tennessee Chattanooga (6-3, 6-2).
"Pulok has had a breakthrough win in each of the three tournaments this fall," Head Coach Parker Ross said. "He is doing a great job in practice, and is consistently improving each week."
Sam O'Neill took a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 opening round loss to Diego Nunez of ETSU, but he came back with a good tournament run, reaching the Semi-Finals of the back draw. O'Neill defeated Artem Tarasov 6-2, 6-1 but was knocked off by Beck Pennington 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (10-6) in the finals.
"Sam is on the verge of a breakthrough season," Parker added. "His last three losses have all been in 3-set matches against very good opponents including his last one against Pennington the No. 6 seed from Kentucky 10-7 in the third set breaker."
"The fall season was a very productive one for the team," Parker explained. "The guys are focused and working hard. I believe that the majority of the team is steadily improving and heading in the right direction, and if we can continue to build on that in the next few months I think we can have a very good spring season."