Tennis: Bulldogs struggle over weekend

MITCH RIPORTELLA | Staff Reporter

The Butler men’s tennis team dropped its second match of the season Saturday, falling 5-2 in the Butler Bubble against ASA College.

The setback put the Bulldogs at 5-2 for the year and snapped the team’s five-match win streak.

Juniors Sam O’Neill and Billy Weldon came out strong for the Bulldogs, grabbing the No. 1 doubles match 6-1.

From there, the duo of junior Pulok Bhattacharya and sophomore Brandon Woods were able to secure a 6-5 win in the No.3 doubles spot.

O’Neill was unable to compete in his singles match after suffering a shoulder injury, but the team expects him to return to action Thursday at Northern Illinois.

Despite the early momentum, things went almost exclusively downhill from there for the Bulldogs, who lost all but one singles match.

Coming up with the lone singles win for Butler was freshman Alex Woldmoe. He outlasted the Avengers’ Shaquille Taylor in a three-set, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 nail-biter in the No. 6 spot.

Alex’s older brother, junior Austin Woldmoe, also went into three sets at the No. 2 spot, but he ultimately came up short in a back-and-forth 6-5, 3-6, 3-6 loss.

Also dropping close matches were Weldon in the No. 4 spot and junior Tommy Marx at No. 5.

Butler coach Parker Ross said coming up short in close matches ultimately hurt the Bulldogs down the stretch.

“I thought that our guys played very good in doubles, but just fell short in singles on a few critical points,” Ross said.

The Bulldogs’ next match will be Thursday at Northern Illinois University. The Huskies are 7-3 on the year and will face the Bulldogs at home, where they are a perfect 7-0.

The Butler men will then play two matches this weekend—against the 2-8 Toledo Rockets at home Saturday, and at Indiana University-Purdue University on Sunday.

IUPUI is 2-9 on the year and has dropped its last six matches.

Butler’s women’s team fell to 2-7 on the season last week after being swept 7-0 for the third straight contest in a row, this time against the University of Cincinnati.

The Bearcats won all three doubles competitions to earn a point and would pile it on by winning all six singles competitions in straight sets.

Senior Angelina Qin contributed to the most competitive match of the day, playing the Bearcats’ Hannah Willie to a 7-6, 6-2 loss in the No. 5 spot.

The women will look to avenge last season’s loss to Xavier today in what will be their first Big East Conference match of the season. Xavier is currently 4-2 on the year and is coming off of a four-match win streak.

Xavier went 20-6 last year, including a perfect 9-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. This will be both teams’ first Big East matchup.

The Butler women haven’t beaten Xavier since a 5-2 victory in the Bubble in 2011.

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