Indianapolis, Ind. - After battling a fiercely competitive Tennessee Tech squad to a 3-3 draw with one singles bout to go, the Bulldogs received a huge boost from Stephen McLoughlin at the No. 6 singles spot, as the freshman picked up two-set match-clinching victory to give host Butler a 4-3 win on Saturday (Feb. 21) afternoon at the Butler Bubble.
McLoughlin picked up his third dual meet win of the season while helping the Bulldogs to their fourth victory of the spring by ousting TTU's Mario Gutierrez, 6-2, 6-4.
The doubles competition provided a glimpse of what was to come in singles play, as all three bouts required nine points for a win - including two that went to tiebreakers.
Butler got on the board first, as the No. 2 doubles tandem of Ben Raynauld and Chris Herron held off a tough Golden Eagle duo for a 9-8 (3) win. The top Bulldog pair fell just short in their battle for the opening point, as Bryce Warren and McLoughlin dropped a 9-8 (4) battle at No. 1 to bring the doubles competition back to even at 1-1.
The singles competition featured much of the same nip-and-tuck play, as the top three positions needed three sets to be decided.
Brandon Bayliss put the Bulldogs up 2-0 with a strong 6-4, 6-2 win at the No. 4 position before nationally-ranked Dean O'Brien responded with a hard-fought three-set win at No. 1 over Raynauld for their first point of the bout.
Warren stepped up big at the No. 2 spot, rallying from an opening set defeat to score a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Alex Chen to put Butler just one point from a match win.
TTU answered with wins at No. 3 and No. 5, however, to bring the contest back to even at 3-3 before McLoughlin provided the deciding margin.
The Bulldogs improve to 4-6 on the season with the win.
Butler returns to action on Sunday (Feb. 22) when it hosts Toledo beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Butler Bubble.