Jan. 19, 2009
Setting The Scene: The Bulldog men's tennis team opens up a busy week on Wednesday (Jan. 21) when it heads to Columbus, Ohio, for a 10:00 a.m. match against Ohio State. Butler continues its challenging stretch three days later when it squares off with Wisconsin on Jan. 24 before opening Horizon League play at Green Bay on Jan. 25. The women's team, meanwhile, remains idle for the week.
Women's Tennis Victorious In Opener: Butler opened up the spring season on a winning note on Saturday (Jan. 17), claiming a 4-3 decision over a short-handed Indiana State squad in the season opener. Molly Casperson and Becky Jenkins scored the deciding point the Bulldogs needed in doubles play to claim the first point of the match, easily disposing of the Sycamore's No. 2 tandem, 8-0. Jenkins continued her early season success in singles play, scoring a 6-4, 6-0 win over Aleksandra Dzakula at the third position, while Gabriella Bobrowski tallied a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Elmine Botes at the No. 4 spot to help provide the final margin.
Herron, Warren Win Top Doubles Match: Chris Herron and Bryce Warren tallied an impressive victory at the top doubles position against Northwestern on Sunday (Jan. 18) afternoon, but the decision would be the only for the Bulldogs on the day, as the Wildcats claimed a 7-0 sweep of Butler in its spring season opener. Herron and Warren put up a gutsy showing in the No. 1 doubles bout, battling the Wildcats' top duo of Marc Dwyer and Tobias Reitz to a 7-7 draw before claiming at 7-4 decision in the tie-breaker for the victory.
Head Coach Jason Suscha: Jason Suscha, in his 12th season as the head coach of the Butler men's tennis team and 10th 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 169-106 overall record at Butler, including an astounding 69-3 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 114-101 record, including a dominant 66-21 mark in league play, and have advanced to the tournament championship match in eight of his nine seasons.
League Honors: Butler women's tennis players Molly Casperson and Natali Jaimes were both mentioned among the top performers in the Horizon League last spring, as the duo was included on the 2008 All-Horizon League Women's Tennis First Team. A trio of Butler men's tennis players found themselves mentioned among the Horizon League's best last season, as Brandon Bayliss took home the league's Newcomer of the Year award, while Eric Breitenbach and Ben Raynauld earned all-league first team mention.
Double-Trouble: The doubles competition might only factor in for one of the seven points in a dual meet, but, for Butler, it was the difference between winning and losing the match last year. The men's team finished with a 12-0 record and women's team with an 11-0 mark in dual meets in 2008 when they secured the doubles point. The trend has remained true so far this year, as the women are 1-0 after winning the opening point.
Next Up: The men's team battles Western Michigan in its home opener next week, as the Bulldogs battle the Broncos on Jan. 30. The women's team, meanwhile, resumes its spring slate the following afternoon (Jan. 31) when it hosts Dayton. The week concludes on Feb. 1 with both teams squaring off with Big Ten foes, as the men travel to Purdue and the women head to Indiana.