Katzenberger, Panthers rally for 5-4 triumph over Indiana-Southeast

Mia Katzenberger

HANOVER, Ind. – In a back-and-forth affair Friday, the Hanover women's tennis team rallied late to prevail at home against Indiana-Southeast, 5-4.

The Panthers and Grenadiers (0-1) originally started the match last Saturday, Sept. 22, only getting in doubles play before weather postponed the contest until this evening. Hanover led the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic (NAIA) institution 2-1 when the match resumed Friday.

With the match tied at four-all, it appeared as though the Blue and Red were headed toward their first loss of the season, as sophomore Mia Katzenberger (Crawfordsville, Ind.) trailed in the second set of the No. 6 singles match, 5-2, after dropping the opening frame 6-3. Katzenberger though, rallied to take five straight games and the second set, 7-5, forcing a winner-take-all third set. In the decisive frame, the sophomore fell behind 1-0, but rallied to take a 2-1 lead after breaking serve. The two opponents traded games in the next round, making it 3-2 in favor of HC. Katzenberger then rattled off three straight wins, including one break, to secure the individual match, 6-3, and the team victory, 5-4.

With the win, Katzenberger improved to 12-0 in her collegiate singles career, which includes a 5-0 mark this fall. The Panthers also stayed unbeaten with the win, jumping to 5-0 overall.

Additional singles victories Friday came from junior Cami Jones (Richmond, Ind.) and senior Ruth Gaston (Indianapolis, Ind.). Jones gave HC its third team point after cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 decision at No. 1. Gaston then followed at No. 5, winning in straight sets by a count of 7-5, 6-2. The senior trailed 5-2 in the opening frame before rallying to take 11 of the final 13 games in the match.

Jones and sophomore Haley Parker (Leo, Ind.) picked up the first doubles win last Saturday, as the duo won 8-3. Jones and Parker are now 2-0 in the second doubles slot this fall.

The combo of senior Susie Winternheimer (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Meghan Farrell (Indianapolis, Ind.) gave the Panthers the advantage after doubles play, winning the top spot, 9-8, thanks to a 7-4 tiebreaker.

For the season, Hanover is now 27-3 (.900) in singles matches and 13-2 (.867) in doubles play. Combined, HC has taken 40 of a possible 45 team points, good enough for an .889 win percentage.

Hanover is slated to return to Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play next Wednesday, Oct. 3, as the team puts its 43-match HCAC regular season win streak on the line by hosting Franklin. The Panthers and the Grizzlies will meet for the first time since the 2017 HCAC Tournament championship, where HC won, 5-1.

Contact: Tyler Jester