MITCH RIPORTELLA | Staff Reporter
The Butler women’s tennis team wrapped up its final regular season matches at home over the weekend, taking on Saint Louis University Friday and IUPUI on Saturday.
The Bulldogs fell flat in their first contest Friday, suffering a 0-4 loss at the hands of the Billikens.
Saint Louis dominated both doubles matches, defeating the No. 1 doubles team of senior Stephanie McLoughlin and freshman Kailey Eaton 8-1, and would seal the doubles point with a 8-4 win over freshman Grace Hyde and senior Angelina Qin in the No. 2 match.
Butler’s luck did not improve in singles play, as they lost the remaining three singles matches in straight sets.
The Bulldogs’ luck improved for their final home match of the season, taking on intercity rival IUPUI Saturday. The Jaguars came to Butler hoping to spoil the team’s senior day by avenging a 4-3 loss back in February, but once again fell short in a 5-2 Butler victory.
Leading the charge for the Bulldogs were seniors McLoughlin and Qin, who both picked up wins in their final home matches in straight sets.
McLoughlin finished regular season play leading the Bulldogs in singles wins with seven, playing all year almost exclusively in the one spot.
The Bulldogs finished 4-16 overall and 0-3 for the regular season, and will compete in the Big East tournament April 24 at Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Despite the team’s struggles, Eaton feels it was a very valuable year for a team with five freshmen, and a great learning experience.
“Just seeing the improvement from the team in the last couple months was really cool,” Eaton said, “If we continue to work over the offseason, and keep the focus on getting better, I’m confident we’ll be successful [next year].”
Saturday was also the second annual United States Tennis Association kids’ day hosted by the women’s tennis program, an outdoor event for aspiring youth players and Butler students.
Hyde said she had a very positive experience this year and hopes to see the event continue to grow.
“I personally thought it was fun running round with the kids and giving them a few pointers” Hyde said, “I just hope we can spark some more interest in (the event) for next year and the year after.
The Butler men’s team was also at home this weekend, taking on conference rival Xavier in their second Big East match-up of the year.
The Musketeers emerged victorious defeating the Bulldogs 6-1, a score not indicating how close the matches really were.
The loss knocked Butler to 9-8 on the year. The team remains winless in conference play.
Though Xavier earned the double point with relative ease, the single matches would prove to be much more interesting.
Sophomore Brandon Woods picked up Butler’s only point in a 4-6, 7-6,10-6 nail-biter in the No. 5 spot.
Three of the six singles matches would go into late sets, and the close matches were ultimately the deciding factor.
The Bulldogs will have to wait for the weekend for a shot to pick up their first ever Big East Conference win when they travel to Marquette on Sunday for their final regular season match.
Butler will have its hands full with the 13-8 Golden Eagles, who are 9-0 on their home courts. Marquette is also 2-0 in conference and is currently on a three match win streak.