Mason Dragos competes on the Butler tennis courts. Dragos is 10-Four in singles matches this season. Jimmy Lafakis/Collegian file picture.
JAKE BEDELL | STAFF REPORTER | [email protected]
Following their losses to Georgetown in final 12 months’s Large East Match — within the first spherical for girls and quarterfinals for males — the Butler tennis groups took time regroup within the offseason. Whereas some key seniors have left this system upon commencement, new gamers will likely be stepping as much as fill the necessary roles they held.
Right here’s what to control all through the 2019 tennis season.
The Butler males’s tennis workforce finds itself able to expertise success, but additionally to study, because the Bulldogs proceed their 2019 season. Presently sitting at 4-3, the workforce swept its matchups on Feb. 1 and a couple of towards Youngstown State, Cleveland State and Marian.
The play of senior Mason Dragos and sophomore Michael Dickson has been spectacular, and assist show they’re among the many finest within the Large East. Dragos has been named to the All-Large East workforce yearly since he was a freshman.
Presently, Dragos sits at 10-Four in singles matches and 11-7 in doubles alongside senior associate Aviv Ben Shabat.
“Enjoying in Juniors, you don’t play quite a lot of doubles matches,” Dragos stated. “So, coming to varsity and enjoying doubles will be type of a shock. It was a shock for me.”
Dickson was voted Large East Rookie of the Yr and named to the All-Large East workforce in his first 12 months at Butler. He’s 8-7 in singles and 12-9 in all doubles matches.
The squad is comprised of six seniors, three sophomores and 5 freshmen. The Bulldogs have veterans able to successful necessary matches. In addition they have younger expertise who can compete and study from the upperclassmen.
Thomas Brennan could possibly be one such freshman. In his homeland of Eire, Brennan represented the nation on the European Junior Championships and is at present ranked because the nation’s No. 5 senior participant.
The boys will look to take advantage of their nonconference schedule, enjoying opponents corresponding to Austin Peay on March 13 and Grand Valley State on March 15. The primary Large East convention recreation is scheduled for March 29 when the Bulldogs head to Villanova. Their first convention recreation at residence comes on April 5 towards Xavier.
“It’s all about progress and growth,” head coach Pollock stated. “In case you stand on the finish of the season and say, ‘We’re higher now than we have been initially of the season,’ that’s all the time your purpose.”
The women have had a little bit of a tough begin to their 2019 season, at present with a file of 3-5, however they’ve loads of time to make the mandatory changes to show it round. Regardless of ending 9-17 final 12 months, the Bulldogs are within the course of of creating modifications.
The modifications will likely be orchestrated by former assistant coach Matt Moore, who was promoted to place of head coach earlier than the beginning of this season. In his first 12 months as an assistant with the Bulldogs, they achieved their highest win whole since becoming a member of the Large East convention.
“We’ve obtained a blueprint in place that enables us to be efficient and environment friendly inside our practices and to strategize successfully heading into matches,” he stated.
The ladies have a mix of freshmen and seniors who study from each other with the intention to excellent their recreation and put together for matches that lay forward. Their newest outcomes come from Feb. 2 and three, once they defeated Milwaukee 6-1, however fell to Indiana 0-7.
Junior Nina Bertino has had a powerful begin to 2019 and can look to fill an necessary function this season. She’s 10-Three to this point in singles and credited her growth to in-game expertise and enjoying extra relaxed.
“I positively have grown as an individual and as a participant,” Bertino stated. “I used to be an excessive perfectionist my freshman and sophomore 12 months and I nonetheless am. However I’ve grown up a lot on and off the court docket.”
The women are struggling in doubles competitors in the intervening time however will look to enhance because the season progresses. Butler is 9-23 to date in doubles. However head coach Moore stated he appears past the scorecard to research the place success and battle reside.
“Scores to me are by no means indicative of how effectively we really play,” he stated. “Once we have a look at the losses we’ve had, we’ve seen continued progress in every one in every of our matches.”
Moore additionally stated he has strategies that monitor the progress of the workforce. He identified their “grueling” nonconference schedule and the top-tier groups the Bulldogs have been enjoying, a stage he hopes Butler can attain some day.
The Bulldogs have a collection of nonconference matchups that run till mid-March. This consists of opponents like Denison on Feb. 10 and Illinois State on March 3. Come March 21, the ladies have their Large East opener away at St. John’s. Their first residence convention match will likely be performed March 30 towards Windfall.