January 28, 2009

Tennis Hosts Western Michigan, Dayton This Weekend

Jan. 28, 2009

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Setting The Scene: After spending the first four matches of the season on the road, the Butler men's tennis team kicks off the home schedule on Friday (Jan. 30) when it hosts Western Michigan at 2:30 p.m. The women's team, meanwhile, welcomes Dayton to Indianapolis on Saturday (Jan. 31) for a 1:00 p.m. bout. Both teams will be in action on Sunday (Feb. 1), with the men's squad heading to Purdue for a 10:00 a.m. match and the women traveling to Indiana for a 4:00 p.m. contest.

Men's Team Picks Up First League Win: Butler had to battle back from a defeat in doubles competition, but the end result was more of the same under head coach Jason Suscha, as the Bulldogs rallied for a 5-2 victory over host Green Bay in the Horizon League opener on Sunday (Jan. 25) afternoon. A win at the No. 3 doubles position by newcomers Lenz Theodor and Zach Ervin - the duo's second in as many days - would not be enough to secure the first point of the bout, as Green Bay picked up strong wins at the first two spots to take an early lead in the match. Butler regained its composure in the singles competition, however, as the Bulldogs reeled off wins at the top five positions to claim with victory.

Jenkins Earns First Player Of The Week Honor: After picking up wins in both doubles and singles competition in the Bulldogs' spring opener, junior Becky Jenkins was named the Horizon League's Women's Tennis Player of the Week on Jan. 21. In Butler's home opener against Indiana State on Saturday (Jan. 17), the Elmhurst, Ill., native teamed up with fellow junior Molly Casperson for an 8-0 victory at No. 2 doubles to give the Bulldogs' their deciding point in doubles play. She followed up that performance with an impressive 6-4, 6-0 win at No. 3 singles to help Butler claim a 4-3 victory over the Sycamores. The recognition is the first weekly honor bestowed to Jenkins in her career and the first for the Bulldogs this season. Last year, Butler claimed nine players of the week awards from the league.

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 170-108 overall record at Butler, including an astounding 70-3 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.

All In The Family: A trio of current women's players have ties to other current or recent Butler student-atheltes. Junior Molly Casperson played her freshman season with her older sister, Chelsey, who was a four-year letterwinner at Butler. Additionally, freshman Ashley Breitenbach is the younger sister of former men's tennis player Eric Breitenbach, who finished his four-year career with the Bulldogs last spring as a two-time First Team All-Horizon League honoree, while fellow freshman Heather Hayward is the twin sister of current freshman men's basketball player Gordon Hayward.

Next Up: The women's team heads to cross-town rival IUPUI on Feb. 6 for a 6:00 p.m. match with the Jaguars before returning to the Butler campus to host Akron on Feb. 7 beginning at 2:00 p.m. The men's team, meanwhile, will have its only action of the week on Feb. 8 when it travels to Peoria, Ill., for a 1:00 p.m. contest against Bradley.