March 24, 2009

Tennis Continues League Season This Week

March 24, 2009

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Setting The Scene: The Bulldog women's tennis team has a busy week ahead of them, with three matches in a five-day span. Butler opens the week at home on Wednesday (March 25) against Xavier at 3:00 p.m. before traveling to Detroit on Friday (March 27) for a 10:00 a.m. contest. The week concludes on Sunday (March 29) when the Bulldogs host Green Bay starting at 10:00 a.m. The men's team, meanwhile, has its only competition of the week when it heads to Detroit on Friday for a 10:00 a.m. match against the Titans.

Bulldogs Top Valpo In League Opener: After nearly two months of playing against non-league opponents, the Butler women's tennis team kicked off the Horizon League campaign with a bang, trumping visiting Valparaiso, 6-1, on March 22 afternoon at the Butler Bubble. The Bulldogs swept through the doubles competition to earn the first point of the match before claiming wins in the top five singles spots.

Butler Ousts Indiana State: The Butler men's tennis team swept past Indiana State for the doubles point before scoring decisions at the bottom four singles spots to claim a 5-2 victory over the visiting Sycamores on March 18 afternoon at the Butler Bubble. After the Bulldogs won all three doubles bouts, ISU responded with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, but wins in the bottom four positions provided Butler with the difference in the contest.

Perfect Showing: Freshman Cam Thompson finished last week's competition undefeated at both singles and doubles. She teamed up with Ashley Breitenbach at No. 3 doubles for an 8-6 triumph over Evansville before scoring a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles against the Purple Aces. The following day, she partnered with Breitenbach for an 8-0 sweep at No. 3 against Valparaiso before tallying a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 5 singles. The Bloomington, Ind., native now boasts a 10-6 record in singles play, tied for the second-most wins on the team.

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 175-115 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 119-109 record - including a dominant 67-21 mark in league play - and have advanced to the tournament championship match in eight of his nine seasons.

Next Up: The Bulldogs hit a slow stretch next week, as both teams will have only one match during the span. The men's team hosts Horizon League opponent UIC on Friday (April 3) beginning at 3:00 p.m., while the women battle the Flames the following afternoon (April 1) at 1:00 p.m.