January 8, 2008

Men's Tennis Opens Spring Season This Weekend

Jan. 8, 2008

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Setting The Scene: The Butler men's tennis team kicks off the 2008 spring campaign on the road this weekend when it takes on Western Michigan on Friday (Jan. 11) beginning at 4:00 p.m. The Bulldogs then battle the first of five-straight Big Ten foes on Saturday (Jan. 12) when they face Michigan State at 11:00 a.m.

Horizon League Champions...Again: The Butler men's tennis team wrapped up another dominant conference campaign last season, going undefeated at 5-0 to earn the No. 1 seed in the Horizon League Championship and a bye to the semifinals of the tournament. There, the Bulldogs received their strongest competition of the league schedule, as No. 4 seed Wright State gave Butler a battle to the finish. The Raiders took an early lead in the match with a pair of doubles wins for the first point. Butler rallied in singles competition, however, scoring wins at No. 1, 3, 5 and 6 to advance to the championship match for the 12th-straight season. The Bulldogs then made quick work of No. 3 seed UIC, claiming the doubles point before notching three two-set wins in singles at No. 1, 2 and 3 for their ninth league tournament title.

A Tradition Of Dominance: Not only has the Butler men's team won nine of the 12 Horizon League Championships ever held, but they have also been superior in the conference regular season. In fact, the Bulldogs have not lost a single Horizon League regular season match in over 11 years, dating back to a 6-1 defeat to Northern Illinois at the end of the 1996 season. Since then, Butler has won 45-straight regular season matches.

Six-Peat: The Bulldogs are the only Horizon League men's tennis team to earn the conference's automatic bid, winning the league championship in each of the last six years. The league did not receive an automatic bid in men's tennis until 2002.

Men's Trio Earns All-League Honors: James Low led a trio of Bulldogs with accolades from the Horizon League during the 2006-07 campaign, earning the highest recognition as the league's Male Player of the Year. Eric Breitenbach joined Low on the all-league first team, while Evan West was tabbed to the all-league second squad.

Women's Duo Recognized: After a dominant rookie campaign during the 2006-07 season as the Bulldogs No. 1 singles player, Molly Casperson was named the Horizon League's Newcomer of the Year while earning a spot on the six-member all-league first team. Tiffany McLoughlin also picked up hardware, being tabbed to the all-league second team.

Head Coach Jason Suscha: Jason Suscha, in his 11th season as the head coach of the Butler men's tennis team and ninth year at the helm of the women's squad, continues to reign supreme in the world of Horizon League tennis. The five-time Horizon League Men's Tennis Coach of the Year boasts a 156-93 overall record at Butler, including an astounding 62-1 mark against conference foes. Suscha has also consistently positioned the Butler women's squad near the top of the Horizon League. Under his guidance, the Bulldogs have combined for a 100-92 record, including a dominant 58-19 mark in league play, and have advanced to the tournament championship match in seven of his eight seasons.

Next Up: The women's tennis team kicks off its 2008 spring season when they travel to Chicago on Jan. 19 for a 2:00 p.m. ET match against DePaul. They then return home the following day (Jan. 20) for a noon match against Bowling Green. The men's team, meanwhile, will have 10 days off before returning to action at Ohio State on Jan. 23.