The Butler women’s tennis team trounced their cross-town rival IUPUI 7-0 on their home court last Saturday.
When asked about his initial thoughts going into the game, head coach Jason Suscha commented on the mental strength his team demonstrated prior to the start of the match.
“Heading into the match, I could tell that the girls were a lot more confident,” he said. “I think it helped them to think back to when they played [IUPUI] and were successful at tournaments in the fall.”
It became clear early on that the confidence went a long way.
On the individual side, senior and No. 1 singles player Natali Jaimes won 6-4, 6-2, to claim a win against IUPUI sophomore Shelby Huelett.
Five of six Butler players won in straight sets, including senior Gabriela Bobrowski and freshmen Caroline Hedrick, Stephanie McLoughlin and Gabrielle Rubenstein.
Suscha said a dominating singles performance can mean a lot for the rest of the season and in Horizon League play.
“The fact that we won all but one of our single’s matches very decisively demonstrates our ability to stay calm and adjust to the different players and styles of play,” Suscha said, “which will go a long way towards the end of the season and Horizon League competition.”
As stated by McLoughlin, the Bulldogs dominated the two-on-two matches against the Jaguars as well.
They attacked quickly as the freshmen duo of McLoughlin and Rubenstein claimed the No. 1 doubles title right off the bat.
That performance was soon followed by Jaimes’ and Hedrick’s efforts at No. 2 doubles.
Moments later, Bobrowski and sophomore Brittany Farmer quickly finished the doubles sweep with an 8-1 win over IUPUI sophomore Jesika Bays and junior Lee Matthews.
After the match McLoughlin said what an uplifting performance says about her team with regards to the rest of the season.
“I definitely believe it gives us a lot of confidence,” she said. “A performance like this just shows us that what we’ve been working on is starting to come together, and only raises our expectations for the future.”
With a week off, the Bulldogs will look to prepare for when the Lady Muskateers of Xavier come to campus for their match Feb. 23.
“We played [Xavier] in a tournament in the fall, and although we didn’t perform the way we would’ve wanted to,” McLoughlin said, “it just comes down to doing the right thing when we needed.”