Tennis Hosts Eastern Illinois On Friday

March 4, 2009

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Setting The Scene: 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.

Herron Scores Win At Indiana: Chris Herron scored an impressive win, but the host Hoosiers would take care of business in the team scoring with a 6-1 victory over the Bulldogs on March 1 afternoon. Herron gave Butler its lone point on the day at the third singles spot. After falling in the opening set to Guy Kubi, 6-3, the Greenwood, Ind., native rallied for a spirited 7-6 (8-6) decision in the second set before holding on for a 10-8 win in the tiebreaker for the three-set triumph.

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.

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.

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 173-113 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 116-106 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 and women's tennis team heads to Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday (March 11) when both team's square off on a neutral court against Case Western Reserve University out of Cleveland. The women's team then continues action at home on Saturday (March 14) when it hosts Western Michigan starting at 2:00 p.m. at the Butler Bubble.