Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover men's tennis team will look to start April off on the right foot as it travels for a pair of contests this week.
SETTING THE SCENE: The Panthers will begin by trekking for their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener against Earlham (Ind.) at 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 3. Over the weekend, they will face Oakland City (Ind.) at 12 p.m., Saturday, April 6. The Blue and Red (2-5) will open their HCAC slate against the Quakers, who have been the conference tournament runner up each of the past three years. On Saturday, HC will clash with the Mighty Oaks, who they gained a 9-0 victory over during the autumn campaign on Sept. 20.
Junior Landon Carrico (New Albany, Ind.) had the lone singles victory against Bellarmine on March 23. In the No. 1 bout, he won in straight sets by a score of 6-1, 6-0. With that, Carrico accrued his 30th career win in singles, and he now has a 30-20 record flying solo.
Freshman Keith Asplund (Jeffersonville, Ind.) and junior Jonathan Helmers (Cincinnati, Ohio) are each 4-3 overall in singles to lead HC. Asplund has primarily been in the No. 3 slot, where he's had five of his seven matches. Asplund nearly garnered a victory in the No. 2 flight versus the Knights on March 23, but he fell in three sets.
Helmers has been at his best in the No. 5 and No. 6 matches, where he has a 3-1 record this year. Against Augustana (Ill.) on Feb. 24, he gained a 6-1, 6-0 advantage as the No. 5 competitor.
As a unit, Hanover is 8-6 in the No. 5 and No. 6 singles, with help from Helmers, along with sophomores Jed Fajt (Greencastle, Ind.) and Roger Trombley (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) who have respective records of 2-3 and 3-3 in 2018-19.
- The Panthers are also 4-3 in the No. 3 doubles spot. Asplund has been a part of two of the four wins in the bottom doubles slot.
SCOUTING EARLHAM: The Earlham Quakers are 7-7 overall and 0-1 in the HCAC. The Quakers are coming off of a 7-2 loss to Rose-Hulman (Ind.) on March 31. Hanover has not beaten Earlham since the 2015-16 campaign, when they gained a 5-4 edge. Their last meeting was the HCAC tournament semifinals in 2018, when the Quakers gained a 5-1 advantage.
SCOUTING OAKLAND CITY: The Oakland City Mighty Oaks are currently 3-10, with an upcoming match versus Kentucky Wesleyan on their schedule before they tackle the Panthers. Hanover has victories each of the past two years against Oakland City, as the team took a pair of 8-1 road decisions in the spring of 2018.
Contact: Tyler Jester