The Butler women’s tennis team will need to retrace their steps after starting the 2011 season on the wrong foot.
With a pair of home losses during the weekend, the Bulldogs dropped a 7-0 match to Miami (Ohio) on Saturday before losing to Bowling Green by the same score the next day.
The Bulldogs (0-2) started the weekend with their season opener and a loss to a strong Miami team.
Senior Natali Jaimes and freshman Caroline Hedrick were the highlight of Butler’s doubles play, winning, 8-2, in the No. 2 match.
Despite those efforts, the RedHawks won the other two matches to win the point.
Miami won five of six matches in singles play, each coming in straight sets.
Senior Gabriella Bobrowski led Butler with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 scoring drive in the No. 4 seed singles match to defeat Miami senior Riekie Honiball.
When asked about her team’s performance, Jaimes seemed optimistic concerning the outcome.
“Miami is a team that won the MAC last year and is the preseason favorite to win it again this year,” she said. “I feel we competed very well at spots to make for an interesting match. “
The Bulldogs finished the weekend in similar fashion.
This bout, however, was much closer than the preceding contest. The duel took about five hours to finish, with two matches going three sets and one to a second-set tiebreaker.
Freshmen Gabriella Rubenstien and freshman Stephanie McLoughlin won, 9-8 (5), in No. 1 doubles for Butler’s only win of the day.
“Bowling Green is always a solid team and I think we let them off the hook in multiple matches this year,” head coach Jason Suscha said. “It’s kind of amazing that we lost 7-0 in a match that lasted over five-and-a-half hours.”
Jaimes, Bobrowski and sophomore Brittany Farmer were each competitive in singles play. Each was on the cusp of winning before falling in three sets.
“Our women’s team played well, but our ability to finish points, games and matches will have to improve if we want to compete for a conference championship,” Suscha said. “It is nice to know that we have the firepower to compete with anyone, so my job is to get everyone confident in their ability to close the deal.”
The Bulldogs have another double-header this weekend when they host Dayton on Saturday and Indiana University on Sunday.
Regardless of the opponent Jaimes feels confident going into next weekend’s games.
“As long as we learned from this weekend and we improve upon those things, we will develop nicely as the season progresses,” she said. “This team has great chemistry and is a real joy to be around everyday, so the environment is primed for excellence.”