INDIANAPOLIS – For the fourth time in five seasons, the Hanover women's tennis team is the undisputed champion of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The Panthers got off to strong start Sunday morning, as they defeated Franklin, 5-1, in the HCAC Tournament Championship at West Indy Racquet Club. The Blue and Red went 7-0 during regular season conference play as well, winning their fifth straight conference title.
Hanover jumped out to an early lead by taking the first two doubles matches. Junior Susie Winternheimer (Indianapolis, Ind.) and sophomore Meghan Farrell (Indianapolis, Ind.) cruised to an 8-0 victory in the No. 3 spot for the match's first point.
Sophomore Cami Jones (Richmond, Ind.) and freshman Haley Parker (Leo, Ind.) erased an early deficit in the No. 2 doubles contest, winning 8-4. The tandem won six of the final seven games in the No. 2 match.
Trailing in the No. 1 doubles contest 5-2 was senior Alana Feeley (Colchester, Vt.) and sophomore Caroline Millard (Cincinnati, Ohio). The duo rallied to force a tiebreaker, but ultimately fell, 9-8 (7-3).
Hanover (9-2) kept the momentum throughout the beginning of singles play, taking the first set in four matches. The Blue and Red earned their third point of the Championship and first during singles play with Jones winning via retirement in the No. 2 spot. The sophomore had won the first set 6-2 before an injury to her Franklin (12-3) opponent kept her from finishing.
Freshman Addison Laker (Indianapolis, Ind.) was next to finish as she took the No. 5 match, 6-0, 6-0, moving HC within one point of the championship. Parker finished shortly after Laker, winning her No. 4 match by a count of 6-2, 6-1, giving the Panthers the title.
With the win, Hanover finishes the fall season on a six-game winning streak. The team also earned the HCAC's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III National Tournament in the spring.
The Panthers will open their spring slate with a tri-match at Covenant (Ga.) on Feb. 17. Hanover will face Belhaven (Miss.) at 10 a.m. before a 2 p.m. contest against the host school.
Contact: Tyler Jester