Win over Belhaven highlights Tennessee trip for men's tennis

Dakota Smith

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men's tennis team continued its spring season with three matches in Tennessee this past weekend.

The Panthers (1-5) opened the stretch of matches with a 7-2 win over Belhaven (Miss.) before falling to Covenant (Ga.) and No. 22 Sewanee (Tenn.) by final scores of 6-3 and 9-0, respectively.

Hanover earned its first victory of the season by winning two-of-three doubles and five-of-six singles matches against Belhaven. Highlighting the doubles action was the No. 2 match, which saw juniors Alec Bates (New Albany, Ind.) and Brent Barrett (New Palestine, Ind.) earn an 8-2 decision.

Sophomores Landon Carrico (New Albany, Ind.) and Mitchell Minniear (Muncie, Ind.) added an 8-4 victory in the final doubles spot as well. The duo also earned an 8-3 win against Covenant, the team's only doubles victory of the match.

Senior Dakota Smith (Greenfield, Ind.) opened his weekend with a 6-0, 6-1 decision in the No. 4 singles spot, versus Belhaven. Smith added another solo win in Saturday's finale against Covenant, 6-0, 6-2. Overall, Smith finished the weekend with a 32-15 record in singles games.

Joining Smith with singles wins against Belhaven were Carrico, Minniear, Bates and sophomore Jonathan Helmers (Cincinnati, Ohio). Carrico rallied to win the final two sets in the top spot, while the rest of the victors did so in straight sets.

Bates and Barrett nearly gave HC a 2-1 edge after doubles play against Covenant, but fell in a tiebreaker, 8-6. Minniear added another singles win versus the Scots, outlasting his opponent in the No. 5 match by a final count of 6-3, 3-6, 10-8.

Hanover will continue a busy stretch against non-conference opponents with four matches during the school's annual Winter Break. The Panthers return to Orlando, Fla. for the second consecutive year to take on Augustana (Ill.) Sunday, Feb. 25, Adrian (Mich.) and Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) Monday, Feb. 26, and Saint Mary's (Minn.) Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Contact: Tyler Jester