HANOVER, Ind. – With the start of the 2018-19 season less than two weeks away, we open our season preview series of the Hanover men's tennis team with a look at the returning athletes.
The Panthers are coming off their second consecutive season with a 12-11 overall record. The team has also posted winning seasons and trips to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals in each of the last three years. In head coach Eric LaRue's first season at the helm in 2017-18, HC posted a 5-2 conference record, good enough for a third place finish in the regular season standings.
Despite returning eight players from last season's roster, LaRue only brings back one of four all-conference honorees. Junior Landon Carrico (New Albany, Ind.) highlights the 2018-19 roster, which includes no senior members. Carrico, a two-time first team all-conference selection and 2016-17 HCAC Freshman of the Year, has nearly 50 combined career wins in singles and doubles play at Hanover. As a sophomore, Carrico posted an 11-11 overall mark and 5-2 record in the top singles spot. He also added a 16-6 doubles record, including a 7-1 mark in conference play. Carrico has a career winning percentage above .600 in both singles (.614) and doubles (.667) action.
Juniors Mitchell Minniear (Muncie, Ind.) and Jonathan Helmers (Cincinnati, Ohio) also return for their third seasons with the Blue and Red. Minniear is coming off a double-digit win season in singles competition, while Helmers produced eight victories competing mainly at the No. 2 singles spot. The duo has also teamed up in doubles play quite a bit over the past two seasons, mainly in the top spot in 2017-18, logging six career wins together. The two have a combined 32 doubles and 30 singles victories over the last two years.
Highlighting a group of five sophomores returning are Jed Fajt (Greencastle, Ind.) and Roger Trombley (Signal Mountain, Tenn.). Fajt, Hanover's 2017-18 conference all-sportsmanship selection, went 5-1 at the bottom two singles spots, including a 3-1 record in conference matches. Two of Trombley's three singles victories came in conference play as well. The duo also combined for six total doubles wins.
Later this week, we will take a look at the group of newcomers to the Panther men's tennis program. Hanover will open the new season at the Georgetown (Ky.) Invitational Saturday, Sept. 8.
Contact: Tyler Jester