Jan. 31, 2008
Setting The Scene: Following a stretch of six matches in five days for the Butler men's and women's tennis teams, the Bulldogs will have some time to catch their breath this week, as a men's match at Kentucky on Saturday (Feb. 2) will be the only action for the program. The women's squad will return to action on Feb. 8 when it hosts Illinois State.
Fast Times At Butler U: The Bulldogs did not have much time to rest last week, as the men's and women's teams combined to play in six matches during a span of five days. The men's team saw action in four of the contests, battling Ohio State (Jan. 23), Northwestern (Jan. 25), Wisconsin (Jan. 26) and Purdue (Jan. 27), while the women's squad took on Miami of Ohio (Jan. 26) and Indiana (Jan. 27).
You're Number One: Sophomore Ben Raynauld certainly played like the Bulldogs' No. 1 singles player last weekend, scoring Butler's lone singles victory over Purdue on Jan. 27. The Montreal, Quebec, native claimed a 6-4 win in the opening set before falling just short of a sweep in a 6-7 (6-8) second set. Raynauld rebounded when he needed to, however, winning 10-7 in the third set.
Heading Back Home: The men's team's match at Kentucky this weekend will conclude a season-opening seven-match road trip for the Bulldogs. Butler returns to Indianapolis on Feb. 9 when they host Illinois State to kick off an eight-match homestand.
Young And Talented: The women's tennis squad has gotten a huge boost from its freshmen and sophomores this season. Second-year players Molly Casperson and Becky Jenkins both pace the team with seven singles victories, while rookies Gabriella Bobrowski and Natali Jaimes each tout six singles wins.
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.
...And The Women's Team Has Come Close: The Butler women's team has been nearly as strong in Horizon League play as the men's squad, reaching the league tournament championship in seven of the last eight seasons. Their NCAA tournament bid came up just short last year, falling 4-3 to UIC.
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 156-99 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 100-96 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: Both Butler tennis teams welcome Illinois State to Indianapolis next week, as the women's team battles the Redbirds on Feb. 8 beginning at 5:00 p.m. before the men's team hosts ISU a day later (Feb. 9) at 11:00 a.m.