Feb. 4, 2009
Setting The Scene: The Butler women's tennis team heads downtown on Friday (Feb. 6) when it takes on cross-town rival IUPUI beginning at 6:00 p.m. The following evening (Feb. 7), the Bulldogs welcome Akron to town for a 2:00 p.m. match at the Butler Bubble. The men's team, meanwhile, travels to Peoria, Ill., on Sunday (Feb. 8) for a 1:00 p.m. battle with Bradley.
Singles Play Helps Bulldogs To Win Over Dayton: Butler rallied from a loss at the doubles point to score wins at the top five singles positions en route to a strong 5-2 victory over visiting Dayton on Jan. 31 afternoon. Natali Jaimes would score a convincing 6-0, 6-3 win at the top spot over Loni Dickerhoof, while Gabriella Bobrowski tallied a 6-1, 6-3 decision at No. 4 against Nikki Dzubay. Molly Casperson picked up a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 2 over Laina Grote, Becky Jenkins ousted Chelsea Glankler at No. 3 by a score of 6-2, 6-4, and Cam Thompson chipped in a solid 6-2, 6-2 decision over Kelly O'Connell at No. 5.
Warren Gets Big Time Against Big Ten: Sophomore Bryce Warren has arguably been the Butler men's team's top singles player this season, notching a team-best nine victories on the year, including three at the No. 2 position this spring. In fact, two of those victories, have come against Big Ten opponents. The Columbus, Ohio, native scored a 6-4, 7-6 win over Luke Rassow-Kantor of #31 Wisconsin on Jan. 24 before edging out Branko Kuzmanovic of Purdue in a grueling 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 1-0 (12-10) match on Feb. 1. Warren also paces the Bulldogs with eight victories in doubles play this season.
Youth Movement: Both the Butler men's and women's teams head into the spring campaign without a single senior member on their rosters. The men's squad features two juniors, five sophomores (including a first-year Butler player) and two freshmen, while the women's team boasts three juniors, two sophomores and five rookies. The one thing neither team is short on is talent, however. Among the 11 returning players are four All-Horizon League Team members from a season ago, including men's players Brandon Bayliss and Ben Raynauld and women's players Molly Casperson and Natali Jaimes.
All In The Family: A trio of current women's players have ties to other current or recent Butler student-athletes. 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.
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 170-110 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 115-102 record, including a dominant 66-21 mark in league play, and have advanced to the tournament championship match in eight of his nine seasons.
Next Up: The men's team plays its only match of the upcoming week on Tuesday, Feb. 10 when it hosts Dayton starting at 5:00 p.m. The women's squad, meanwhile, will play two home matches during the weekend, battling DePaul on Friday, Feb. 13, at 4:00 p.m. before hosting Murray State on Sunday (Feb. 15) at 10:00 a.m.