The men’s tennis squad was itching for some competition this fall and got it this weekend at the Hoosier Invitational in Bloomington, Ind.
The Bulldogs, who have no new freshmen on the squad, finally got to see some outside competition after only playing against each other in practice so far.
“Just to see how you match up against different players is good,” Chris Herron said. “When you’re playing your teammates you get used to how they play, its nice to get put to the test against different players.”
The doubles pairing of Herron and Bryce Warren highlighted the Bulldogs’ weekend. The tandem made it all the way to the finals of the double draw before losing to Toledo’s Sven Burus and Aleksander Elezovic 8-5 on Sunday afternoon. Warren and Herron’s 4-1 double record was the best Butler tandem of the weekend.
“It was nice to get back on the court and was really happy with the weekend,” Herron said. “Bryce tweaked his hamstring a little before the final and we just weren’t able to break them.”
In the singles draw, both Herron and Warren were in the top flight, but did not find quite as much success as on the doubles court. After winning his first match 6-2, 6-2 over Tennessee Tech’s Chen, Herron lost in the second round to Indiana’s Dimitrije Tasic. Herron finished the weekend 2-2 in singles matches, while Warren ended the weekend 1-2.
In flight two, Butler’s Zach Ervin was ousted in the second round by Detroit Mercy’s Cheung and was 2-2 in the tournament, ending with a 6-4, 6-4 win over conference foe Robert Fox of Cleveland State.
Ervin’s teammate Brandon Bayliss won his first three matches to make it to the finals of the second draw before losing to Tennessee Tech’s Girling.
After winning his first match in two sets, Bayliss lost the first set during his next match against Toldeo’s Nutthavit Likitkumchorn.
But Bayliss rallied winning the next two set 7-5 and 6-4 to advance to the semi-finals. Bayliss continued his strong play winning another three set match, this time over Indiana’s Stephen Vogl.
“Bayliss has always been capable of beating good guys,” Herron said. “After he lost that first set against [Liktikumchorn], he started playing unbelievable.”
In the singles third flight, Steve McLoughlin went 3-1 on the weekend and defeated Cleveland State’s Matt Ford 6-3, 7-5 in his final match of the weekend.
“Steve had a great match against Cleveland State,” Herron said. “He was extremely patient and played great.”
Also in the third flight, Lenz Theodor went 1-4 for the weekend. Butler’s fourth flight players were Ben Shafer and David Dolins who were both 2-2 for the tournament.
During doubles play, the twosome of Ervin and Bayliss almost matched up against Herron and Warren in the finals, making it all the way to the semi-finals by winning their first three matches.
However, the all-Butler final did not happen due to the Toledo tandem of Burus and Elezovic.
“We really trying to have a good doubles effort,” Herron said. “And having two teams get to the semi-finals is definitely reassuring.”
With the rust finally off the Bulldog’s competition racket after the first tournament of the fall season, Butler will head back to the court this weekend at the Ball State Invitational in Muncie, Ind.