February 6, 2008

Butler Tennis Returns Home This Weekend

Feb. 6, 2008

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Setting The Scene: Butler returns to Indianapolis this weekend when both the women's and men's teams host Illinois State at the Butler Bubble. The women's squad battles the Redbirds on Friday (Feb. 8) beginning at 5:00 p.m., while the men's team takes on ISU on Saturday (Feb. 9) starting at 2:00 p.m.

Welcome Back: The men's team's hosts Illinois State in its home opener following the conclusion of a seven-match, season-opening road trip at Kentucky on Feb. 2. The Bulldogs opened up the season at Western Michigan before heading to Big Ten foes Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Purdue.

...And Make Yourself At Home: The Butler men's team can put away its luggage for the foreseeable future., as the Bulldogs will be spending the next eight matches in Indianapolis. After hosting Illinois State in the home opener, Butler welcomes Xavier, Duquesne and Bradley to Indy before kicking off the Horizon League slate at home against Valparaiso and Green Bay. The homestand wraps up on March 21 with a double-header against IPFW and IUPUI.

Off To A Great Start: Sophomore Molly Casperson might only be in her second collegiate season, but she has played like a seasoned vet. After scoring 19 singles wins as a freshman, including 15 at the No. 1 position, to earn Horizon League Newcomer of the Year honors, Casperson has continued to thrive with the Bulldogs, as her seven singles victories are tied for the team lead.

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 156-100 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: The women's team will be the only squad in action next week, as the Bulldogs head to Xavier (Feb. 13), Green Bay (Feb. 15) and Milwaukee (Feb. 16). The men's team will be idle until Feb. 20.