Bulldogs prepare for Northern Illinois

BOBBY JOHNSON | STAFF REPORTER

Butler University’s women’s tennis team snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over the University of Dayton last Saturday. Meanwhile, the men’s team had a two-game winning streak halted at Valparaiso University.

Even though the teams headed in opposite directions over the weekend, both have a similar focus on what it takes to improve going forward.

Junior Brandon Woods said the men’s team has had a tendency to start off slow, and beginning matches with a high “energy level” can help it improve. He specifically cited singles as an area where it can direct its focus.

“I would like to see the team get off to a better start in singles,” he said. “We generally start off a little slow on all courts.”

Similarly, sophomore Kailey Eaton said she would like to see the team work on playing with good energy throughout the entire length of the match.

“Sometimes, it can be hard to play at a high level for such a long period,” Eaton said. “We could definitely get better at that.”

The 3-7 women’s team gets a break this week, but will get to test its stamina in its next set of matches, which will be back-to-back on Feb. 27 and 28 as it faces Eastern Illinois University and Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Back-to-backs, Eaton said, can be tough on the player’s bodies with such little rest between matches.

“There is not a lot of time to recover between matches,” she said. “So we really focus on stretching and taking care of our bodies.”

However, it should not be too overwhelming a task, considering many of these player’s are used to playing these types of closely scheduled matches, women’s head coach Tayo Bailey said.

“Before college, tennis tournaments span entire weekends, involving up to eight matches,” Bailey said. “If anything, playing four matches in two days is a good thing.”

Eaton said these matches are important for the team if it wishes to reach its goal of 10 wins. Gaining momentum now will also help the team prepare for conference play in the Big East after spring break.

As for the men’s team, it looks to improve on its 3-5 record this Saturday as it hosts Northern Illinois University. The Huskies are 5-2, riding a two-game winning streak.

The Huskies will pose a challenge to the Bulldogs, in regards to singles matches. Woods said the Bulldogs needs to bring their “A-game” if they want to win.

“If we can focus one point at a time, we will succeed as a team,” he said.

The match is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.

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