March 31, 2009

Tennis Hosts UIC This Weekend

March 31, 2009

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Setting The Scene: The 2009 schedule hits a slow part this week, as the Butler men's and women's tennis teams will each play just one match during the span. The men's squad welcomes Horizon League foe UIC to town on Friday (April 3) for a 3:00 p.m. contest, before the women's team battles the Flames the following afternoon (April 4) starting at 1:00 p.m.

Undefeated Start: Both the Butler men's and women's teams are off to a perfect start to the Horizon League season. The men's team boasts a 2-0 record on the year after defeating Detroit, 6-1, on Friday, while the women are an impressive 3-0 after topping both Detroit (4-3) and Green Bay (5-2) last week. The men's team's record is tied with Cleveland State (2-0) and UIC (2-0) for the best mark in the conference, while the women are two wins ahead of second-place UIC (1-0).

Seeking Some Revenge: The Bulldogs' matches against UIC this weekend might have a little more meaning than the average league contest. That's because the Flames handed both the women's and men's teams their only losses in the conference tournament last spring. UIC topped the women in the championship match for the third-straight season, while the Butler men fell to the Flames in the semifinal round before rebounding to top Green Bay in the third-place bout.

Six For Six: Sophomore Gabriella Bobrowski went undefeated at singles and doubles play in three matches last week, including two Horizon League contests. She rallied for a 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 win at No. 2 singles against Xavier on March 25 before picking up a 6-2, 6-3 win over Detroit at the same spot on March 27. Two days later (March 29), she picked up a 6-3, 6-3 triumph at the top singles spot against Green Bay. She also teamed with Natali Jaimes for wins at the No. 2 doubles position in each match, winning 8-6 against both Xavier and Detroit and 8-5 against Green Bay. Bobrowski is currently tied with a team-best 15 singles wins and is tied for the team-lead with 10 doubles victories.

We're Going Streaking!: Gabriella Bobrowski and Becky Jenkins have both been on quite a run in singles play lately. Bobrowski has been victorious in each of her last five singles bouts and eight of her last nine, while Jenkins has scored wins in the past five and eight of her last 11.

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.

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 176-115 overall record at Butler, including an astounding 71-3 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 121-110 record - including a dominant 69-21 mark in league play - and have advanced to the tournament championship match in eight of his nine years.

Next Up: League play continues for both teams, as the women host Wright State on April 7 while the men take on the Raiders on April 9. Both squads then head east to play at Youngstown State on April 11 and Cleveland State on April 12.