ORLANDO, FLA. – The Hanover men's tennis team closed out its Winter Break Trip with a 6-3 win over Saint Mary's (Minn.) Tuesday evening.
The Panthers (3-7) won two of their final three matches to finish with a .500 winning percentage for the second consecutive year during the Florida trip.
Hanover jumped out to an early advantage, taking two of the three doubles matches against the Cardinals (3-6). Juniors Brent Barrett (New Palestine, Ind.) and Alec Bates (New Albany, Ind.) picked up an 8-2 decision in the No. 3 spot, winning their third straight doubles match together.
Adding an 8-5 victory at No. 2 doubles was senior Dakota Smith (Greenfield, Ind.) and sophomore Landon Carrico (New Albany, Ind.). The duo was competing for just the third time together this season but improved to 2-1 on the campaign.
Singles play also saw Carrico and Smith each earn straight set victories. The sophomore tallied a 6-2, 6-0 decision at No. 1 and Smith went 6-4, 6-0 in the third slot. The tandem combined for three of HC's six points Tuesday.
Sophomores Jonathan Helmers (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Mitchell Minniear (Muncie, Ind.) secured the team victory for HC with singles points in the No. 2 and 5 spots respectively. Helmers needed a third set tiebreaker to pick up his win, 6-2, 3-6, 10-8, while Minniear cruised to a straight set decision, 6-4, 6-2.
After dropping five of the six singles matches to Augustana in the Florida-opener, Hanover rallied to win 10 of the final 18 matches Monday and Tuesday. The Panthers also split the Sunshine state swing's 12 doubles points.
The Blue and Red will continue their preparations for Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with another non-league game next weekend. Hanover will travel to face Centre (Ky.) at 2 p.m., March 10.
Contact: Tyler Jester