Tennis Hits The Road This Weekend

Tennis Hits The Road This Weekend

Feb. 25, 2009

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Setting The Scene: The Butler women's tennis team returns to action for the first time in 12 days when it travels to Bowling Green, Ohio, on Friday (Feb. 27) for a 6:30 p.m. match-up with the Falcons. The men's squad, meanwhile, will end a week-long break on Sunday (March 1) when it faces Indiana beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Bloomington, Ind.

Butler Edges Out Tennessee Tech: After battling a fiercely competitive Tennessee Tech squad to a 3-3 draw with one singles bout to go, the Bulldogs received a huge boost from Stephen McLoughlin at the No. 6 singles spot, as the freshman picked up two-set match-clinching victory to give host Butler a 4-3 win on Saturday (Feb. 21) afternoon at the Butler Bubble. McLoughlin picked up his third dual meet win of the season while helping the Bulldogs to their fourth victory of the spring by ousting TTU's Mario Gutierrez, 6-2, 6-4. After edging out the Golden Eagles for the doubles point, the Bulldogs battled to a 3-3 deadlock through the first five singles bouts before McLoughlin provided the final margin.

Warren Leads The Way: Sophomore men's player Bryce Warren has been the Bulldogs most successful singles player so far this season, leading the squad with 13 victories. He has been even more impressive of late, recording wins in seven of his last nine bouts, including triumphs over Purdue and Wisconsin.

Home Cooking: The Butler women's team will feel right at home this season, as 14 of its 22 dual meets this spring will be played on their home court. In fact, the Bulldogs will only have to travel out of the state for six of their bouts all season.

Road Trip: The men's team won't have the same hospitality that the women do this spring season. Quite the opposite, really. The Bulldogs will play 14 of their 22 matches away from Indianapolis, including all but two of their Horizon League regular season contests.

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.

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 173-112 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 116-105 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: Both the men's and women's tennis team will welcome Eastern Illinois to town on Friday (Feb. 6), as the men battle the Panthers beginning at 1:00 p.m. and the women kicking off their match at 5:00 p.m. The women's squad will then hit the road for a Sunday (Feb. 8) afternoon match against the College of Charleston beginning at 2:00 p.m.