Still battling injuries and coming off a rough outing against conference opponent Green Bay, the Butler men’s tennis team pulled out a win over Youngstown State on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (5-13, 2-3 HL), led by the singles play of seniors Brandon Bayliss and Chris Herron, came out on top, defeating the Penguins (5-12, 1-5 HL), 6-1.
Butler was dominant against Youngstown State, sweeping doubles play and winning all but one singles match
“I had a lot of energy going into my singles match,” Herron said. “We got off to a great start in our doubles match and that momentum carried over.”
Herron won his match at No. 2 singles in two sets against sophomore Felipe Rosa, 7-5, 6-4. Bayliss also defeated his opponent, junior Tariq Ismail, winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. With the win, Bayliss remained unbeaten in Horizon League singles play.
Junior Zach Ervin picked up a victory at No. 3 singles, taking the tiebreaker against freshman Max Schmerin for the win, 7-6, 6-7, 10-7.
Senior Lenz Theodor was a winner at No. 4 singles for the Bulldogs (1-6, 6-1, 6-2) and senior David Dolins took the win at No. 6 singles via forfeit.
Butler swept doubles play as well, posting an 8-5 victory at No. 1 doubles and winning, 8-4, at No. 2 doubles. The No. 3 doubles match was forfeited by the Penguins, who competed with five athletes.
“It was a great turnaround from last weekend,” freshman Brad DiCarlo said. “It was a great confidence booster heading into the final stretch of the regular season.”
Sunday’s matchup against conference foe Cleveland State brought a different outcome, as the Bulldogs fell to the Vikings (12-7, 6-0 HL), 4-3.
Herron and Bayliss were both victorious in singles play once again, beating their opponents 6-3, 7-6 and 6-3, 6-2, respectively. This time, however, the two were the only Butler players to pick up victories in singles play.
The team went two for three in doubles play to open the day. The team of Herron and senior Bryce Warren won, 8-6, at No. 1 doubles, while the duo of Ervin and senior Ben Shafer won, 8-6, at No. 3 doubles.
“Cleveland State is a tough team,” Herron said. “Being that close with two guys down shows a lot.”
The team hopes to have injured junior Stephen McLoughlin back in the lineup by its April 16 matchup against Valparaiso.
DiCarlo said that the experience he and others have gained as a result of injuries has been important.
“We just have to keep working hard and grinding it out,” DiCarlo said.
Yesterday, the Bulldogs lost another close match, falling to the Raiders (12-9, 3-2 HL), 4-3.
Butler faces conference power Wright State Wednesday at home before heading to Ball State Thursday.