Tennis Faces Three In-State Rivals On Friday

March 18, 2008

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Setting The Scene: The Bulldogs play a total of three matches on one day this week, battling a trio of in-state foes on March 21. The women's squad opens up with a 2:00 p.m. contest at Evansville before the men's team hosts IPFW at 4:00 p.m. and IUPUI at 7:30 p.m.

Nice Spring Break: It's been a while since either the women's or men's teams have seen dual meet action. The women's team last took the court on March 5 when they took on Ball State, while the men's squad hasn't played since facing Green Bay on March 1. Both teams deserved the time off, however, with the women winning their last four matches and the men notching victories in the past three.

Women Notch Fourth Straight: Butler scored wins in four singles bouts, including a match-clincher at No. 6 by senior Michelle Hawes, to hold off host Ball State, 4-3, for its fourth-straight dual meet victory on March 5. After the Cardinals brought the match even at 3-3 with a win at No. 5 singles, Hawes battled back from an opening set 6-2 defeat to score a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 6 and help give the Bulldogs their sixth win in the last seven contests.

And The Streak Goes On: The Butler men's team extended its Horizon League winning streak to 47 last weekend, ousting new league member Valparaiso on Feb. 29 before holding off Green Bay on March 1. The Bulldogs have not lost in the conference regular season since falling to Northern Illinois, 6-1, at the end of the 1996 season. Under head coach Jason Suscha, the Bulldogs are 64-1 against league foes.

Player Of The Week Streak: Freshman Brandon Bayliss was named the Horizon League's Men's Tennis Player of the Week on March 4. He went 2-0 at No. 5 singles and 1-1 in doubles play in helping the Bulldogs to a pair of Horizon League victories last weekend. He claimed a swift 6-1, 6-1 decision over Valparaiso's Dan Brunette at No. 5 on Friday (Feb. 29) after teaming up with Sam Brown for an 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles. The following day, he clinched a 4-3 win over Green Bay with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 win at No. 5 over John Brough. He is the fourth Bulldog in as many weeks to receive the league's weekly award. Senior men's player Eric Breitenbach (Feb. 13), freshman women's player Natali Jaimes (Feb. 20) and sophomore men's player Ben Raynauld (Feb. 27) have also been honored.

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 160-102 overall record at Butler, including an astounding 64-1 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 106-99 record, including a dominant 61-19 mark in league play, and have advanced to the tournament championship match in seven of his eight seasons.

Next Up: The Butler men's squad has a busy week on tap, as it heads to Dayton on March 26 for a 2:00 p.m. match with the Flyers before returning home to host Indiana State on March 28 at 3:00 p.m. The Bulldogs then hit the road once more, making stops at Toledo on March 29 and league-foe Wright State on March 30. The women's team, meanwhile, will have over a week off before facing the Raiders on March 30.