Panthers power past Transylvania to advance to HCAC Semis

Brent Barrett

INDIANAPOLIS – The Hanover men's tennis team won its eighth consecutive match Friday evening, defeating Transylvania in the opening round of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, 5-1.

The Panthers (12-10) opened its current win streak with a 9-0 win over Transylvania, back on April 11, and the triumph Friday is the squad's third straight in the HCAC Tournament Opening Round. The Pioneers finish their 2017-18 campaign 3-11 overall.

Hanover got off to a strong start at the West Indy Racquet Club, winning two of the three doubles matches. Senior Dakota Smith (Greenfield, Ind.) and junior Brent Barrett (New Palestine, Ind.) earned an 8-0 decision at No. 2 doubles before both went on to add singles points for the team. The other doubles victory came at No. 3, where junior Alec Bates (New Albany, Ind.) and sophomore Landon Carrico (New Albany, Ind.) won 8-2.

Just like doubles competition, Barrett did not concede a game in singles action. The junior took the No. 3 slot by a count of 6-0, 6-0. His doubles partner, Smith, had to go three sets before pulling out a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 victory. Carrico also earned Hanover a singles point, winning 6-2, 6-2 in the top spot. Once Hanover won the top three singles matches it had enough points to secure the overall victory.

In HC's three straight conference opening round triumphs, the team has outscored its opponents by a score of 15-4. This spring's current eight-match win streak has also seen the Panthers out gain their opponents, 60-9.

The Blue and Red will look for their first HCAC Tournament finals appearance since 2007 when they square off with Earlham in the semifinals at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 5. The tournament, in its entirety, is scheduled to be played at West Indy Racquet Club, with Saturday's winner advancing to Sunday's championship match. The Quakers defeated Hanover 8-1 in the regular season, but HC was without its leading singles winner, Smith, and also took three singles losses to a third set.

Contact: Tyler Jester