Jan. 15, 2008
Setting The Scene: The Butler women's tennis team opens up the 2008 spring season this weekend when it heads to Chicago on Saturday (Jan. 19) for a 2:00 p.m. ET match against DePaul. The Bulldogs then return to Indianapolis for their home opener against Bowling Green on Sunday (Jan. 20) at 12:00 noon.
Young And Talented: Led by 2007 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Molly Casperson, the Butler women's tennis team features a young but talented lineup in 2008. Michelle Hawes and Tiffany McLoughlin are the lone senior members, while the other six are either freshmen or sophomores.
What Sophomore Slump: Sophomore Becky Jenkins was one of the Bulldogs' best players this fall, compiling a 6-1 record at singles and a 5-1 mark in doubles play. Last season, she finished with a 16-14 record in singles play, including a 14-11 mark at the No. 4 spot. She also boasted a 19-12 slate in doubles competition while going 15-6 with Molly Casperson at No. 2.
2007 Championship Bid Comes Up Just Short: The Butler women's tennis team played to the brink of its first Horizon League Championship in 2007, battling top-seeded UIC to at 3-3 deadlock, but the Flames rallied in the final match of the day to come away with the deciding point. With the Bulldogs trailing, 3-2, with two singles matches left to play, Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Molly Casperson battled the league's Player of the Year Callan Smith to a third set at No. 1 singles before claiming a 6-3 victory in the deciding frame to bring the two teams even. All-league representative Tiffany McLoughlin, meanwhile, countered Lubica Nadasska in the deciding No. 2 singles match, battling her to a third set and going up 3-0 in the final frame, but Nadasska reeled off six-straight game victories to clinch the final point in favor of UIC.
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.
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.
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 156-95 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 spring season gets in full swing, as the Bulldogs will play in six matches during the upcoming week. The men's squad takes on four Big Ten opponents in the span of five days, battling Ohio State (Jan. 23), Northwestern (Jan. 25), Wisconsin (Jan. 26) and Purdue (Jan. 27). The women's team, meanwhile, battles Miami (Ohio) on Jan. 26 before squaring off with Indiana on Jan. 27.