Bulldogs Struggle, Home and Away

MITCH RIPORTELLA | Staff Reporter

The Butler men’s tennis team dropped its season opener 7-0 at Ohio State. The No. 5 ranked Buckeyes were coming off a 35-3 record last season and picked up where they left off, winning every match in straight sets.

Butler junior Pulok Bhattacharya lost 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 1 singles spot against Ohio State’s No. 31 ranked Peter Kobelt. Butler junior Sam O’Neill fell short, 6-2, 6-0 in the No. 2 spot.

Junior Austin Woldmoe said he thought the Bulldogs played well despite the defeat.

“I don’t think a lot of the scores reflected how competitive the matches actually were,” Woldmoe said. “I don’t think they reflected how good we know we are.”

The Bulldogs got back on track Friday with a 5-2 win over Youngstown State in Butler’s home opener. Butler went 4-2 in singles play and was also able to chalk up a point in doubles.

“I was impressed with how we were able to bounce back after (the loss to Ohio State),” Woldmoe said. “Especially after getting beat up a little.”

Picking up wins for the Bulldogs were O’Neill with a 6-2, 6-5 win in the No. 2 spot, and Woldmoe in the No. 3 spot. Also chipping in were sophomore Brandon Woods and freshman Alex Woldmoe, who both picked up wins in straight sets.

The Bulldogs will next hit the courts Friday against Dayton. The Flyers are 0-2 coming off a loss to SIU Edwardsville last Friday.

“We kind of need to have a never-satisfied kind of philosophy,” Woldmoe said. “We need to play with a chip on our shoulder, and we will win a heck of a lot of matches.”

The Butler women’s team dropped to 1-2 over the weekend following losses to Eastern and Western Michigan.

The 3-1 Eastern Michigan Eagles handed Butler its first loss of the season on Friday, sweeping the Bulldogs 7-0, with all six singles wins coming in straight sets.

Butler continued to struggle Saturday, suffering another 7-0 defeat at the hands of Western Michigan.

The Broncos rolled past the Bulldogs, also winning every singles match in straight sets. The 3-1 Broncos also came out on top in all three doubles competitions.

Senior Stephanie McLoughlin said the team, which is playing five freshmen right now, didn’t get the result she said it wanted. However, she was still happy with how the Bulldogs played.

“(We) showed a lot of improvement from our first game,” McLoughlin said.“To see that much improvement from such a young team in such a short amount of time is really exciting.”

McLoughlin said the team’s main focus is getting better, and the wins will come.

“These girls have to go out there with a lot of expectations, and jumping to the college level is a big transition to make,” McLoughlin said. “It’s all about improving from day to day.”

Butler’s next match will be Sunday, when the Bulldogs face off against 1-2 Detroit.

“We’re actually really excited about this game,” McLoughlin said. “Detroit is a good test and a chance to build on our progress.”

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